Design By Humans
Published On: Fri, Dec 4th, 2015

Billy Crain: Family Matters

billy cBilly Crain
Family Matters
(Slidebilly Records)

Buy it at Amazon!

Being able to boast a line-up of past contributions to the likes of the Dixie Chicks, playing slide guitar on the multi-million-selling (over 20 mil, in fact) Shania Twain’s The Woman in Me, playing with the Outlaws, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Allman Brothers Band, Merle Haggard (to name just a few), one could say Billy Crain knows his stuff. He certainly shows he does here on his new album. Beginning with “Dark House,” a tight little bass roil-piano mover with a lyric I had at first thought banal, but then was gobsmacked by, Crain offers up a singable chorus. “True Beauty” sees more of that chunkin’ bass, with piano and toms upfront. Here we get some rockin’ electric from Crain, on the first real lead of the album. There’s even a drum solo ending the tune with audience clapping. “Lucky Penny” has programmed high percussion background, lead piano and a lyric that will grab you by the throat (stellar writing here, really!). The mix of electric guitar harmonics and piano with fast lyric on “Road Warriors” is one of the best productions on Family Matters; truly the piano playing, bass, electric leading (as would be expected from Crain), subtle drumming and percussion is supreme. I like the backing percussion congas and perfectly-placed backing vocals on “Wilder Things,” though the lyric isn’t one of the better here. “1928” ends the album. It’s a big, electric guitar/piano/drums bio story song, more pure pop than anything else on this album, and again with a singable chorus. Billy Crain’s Family Matters is an expertly-constructed album with gems of pop/country/rock tunes, played to perfection, will lots of styles and sounds to enjoy over and over again.

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Billy Crain: Family Matters