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Leverty, Bill: Deep South

Deep South is not what you'd expect from the lead guitarist of Eighties pop-metal rockers FireHouse. But that's probably a good thing.

On his third solo album, Bill Leverty stretches himself as an artist and rearranges traditional blues and other southern-style songs such as "Boll Weevil," "Nine Hundred Miles" and "Wade in the Water." The result is a contemporary album steeped in musical history, with Leverty's guitar working overtime and his warm, slightly twangy baritone fitting this material like an oxen yoke. He fuels "Trouble So Hard" with a gospel groove, while "Man of Constant Sorrow" morphs into a barroom boogie," and "Run On" comes off like a stripped-down version of the Marshall Tucker Band. "Samson and Delilah" bridges Firehouse with the Allman Brothers Band and ZZ Top, and "Wade in the Water" rocks harder than you'd dare think. Meanwhile Leverty's mandolin gives "Rain and Snow" a melancholy alternative-country feel; think Whiskeytown meets the Eagles. "Hit the Road Jack" doesn't veer much from the original but allows Leverty to show off his Ray Charles influence on piano, plus the sexy voice of Leverty's wife, Kris, chimes in on background vocals.

Kudos to Leverty, who simply could have made a mind-numbing instrumental guitar record or, worse, decided to re-record FireHouse songs with his own vocals. Instead, he's embraced his roots (the blockprint cover art originates with his grandfather) and made an album that deserves to be appreciated by open-minded rock fans who see nothing wrong with artists stepping beyond prescribed borders.

Track Listing:
1) Trouble So Hard
2) Run On
3) Boll Weevil
4) Nine Hundred Miles
5) Samson and Delilah
6) Walk Beside Me
7) Hit the Road Jack
8) Rain and Snow
9) Wade in the Water
10) Man of Constant Sorrow

Added: August 3rd 2009
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Offical Bill Leverty Web Site
Hits: 2666
Language: english

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