Monday, April 8, 2024

I Don't Mind By Billy Bower


I Don't Mind


Billy Bower

Written by

Steve Sheppard


Blues have played a significant part of my musical life, it does for many of us and sometimes we don’t even realise it, for me personally it was the tones of rock and blues from Status Quo, the slow hand of Eric Clapton, a visit to the crossroads with Robert Johnson, or perhaps the catchy melodies of the genius that is Robert Cray.

The album I am now focused on powers into existence with the smooth opener I Don't Mind, which in some ways does indeed reminded me of the aforementioned Cray, this moving starting position is a light pop styled blues song that gets us in the mood, and done so deliciously by the artist Billy Bower.

The next track makes me feel like I have gone back in time, and also addresses two of the previously names blues musicians in my opening paragraph. So let’s go down to the Crossroads for a version that in all honesty I regard very highly, in fact I have now listened to it three times and adore it, the pace and tempo are perfection, the guitar is simply sublime as indeed are the vocals, simply put Bower has totally knocked this version out of the park.

How can a lover of blues music not love this next incredibly smooth piece called Catman Blues, the soft organ and stylish percussion gave this classic offering soul, whilst Bower’s trusty guitar was a silky as Gary Moore on a Stormy Monday.

This album is nothing more that eclectic in its output, and an example of which is the Americana almost Midwestern feel of Love in 63; its arrangement reminds me in context to a mix of Meat Loafs Paradise by the Dashboard Light and Bryan Adams Summer of 69, whatever, this is a classy track of country rock and blues that is a totally fun track to revel within.

As we swim into the latter half of the album we come across a true gem called Old Love, this is a song I have carried with me since 1989, and from a certain Clapton album called Journeyman, I have always loved this terribly emotionally charged creation, and can I dare to say that perhaps Bower’s vocals on this version contain a certain higher level of sensitivity, please also note the piano on this song, it is superb in all its aspects, as is the magical guitar of the artist.

As we move deeper we find this next piece called Get Out Of My Life Louise, a real rhythm and blues song in the traditional sense, the swing aspect of this song and its eventual melody were masterful. Whilst on our penultimate offering entitled Take To Your Board, we have a windswept offering that excitedly takes you on an almost Garth Brooks styled moment, and made me reach for my own Blues harmonica.

We conclude this fantastic album with a beautiful guitar offering, one that starts in a similar way that Rush did on their Farwell to Kings track, the song is called Crane Dance, and it is a delightfully artistic way with which to leave the album.

I Don't Mind by Billy Bower is an album that I am so very pleased I came into contact with, it’s a very classy release and the performances contained within are of the highest order, and of course Bower would be an artist I would have loved to have seen if I had been on the other side of the world.

Blues is a truly traditional genre, the combination of rock and rhythm makes this album undeniable and totally compelling, and as such I have no problem recommending this release to any blues fans across the globe, this album is pure Blues and Rock heaven.

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