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Design By Humans
Published On: Tue, Jul 29th, 2014

Daniel Lanois: My Music For Billy Bob

daniel LDaniel Lanois
My Music For Billy Bob
(self-released)

Tweets and blips and a single-note watery-plucked echo guitar informs the opener, “Asylum,” the first song of Daniel Lanois’ new album, My Music For Billy Bob. Producer/instrumentalist/songwriter/New Orleans champion Lanois wrote and played these tunes for the movie Sling Blade.

I’m taken back to the film instantly with these very recognizable soundscapes, like the shimmery, fast “Omni” or noisy, slinky, country instrumental, harmonica-led “Jimmy Was,” one of the first real songs here that’s more than just sounds and cool atmospheric noodling.

A pretty piano is the main background under some guitar washes in “Nicky.” We get some funky bass, drums and over-driven guitar on “Blue Waltz.” There’s some nice finger picking of electric guitar in “Willie Brown” with some subtle piano behind it, while “Moon Dog” is all guitar running around a subtle chord melody and traffic-like running background. “Shenandoah” is a quick tune featuring “ah ha’s” in a gospel vibe and the groovin’ “The Maker” is a complete tune with lyric and groove, which ends these 12.

There’s perfect menace with sadness in lots of this stuff, an undercurrent to what was evoked from Sling Blade. Lanois is a master really, even with instrumentals with such simple few instruments; the songs never bore you and all evoke a strong feeling. I had always thought the soundtrack to the film was spot-on to the action and it’s great to have these tunes collected now on one album.

You can listen to the album here.

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Daniel Lanois: My Music For Billy Bob