Friday, August 9, 2019

Forgotten Fridays: Bill Janovitz - Lonesome Billy

Forgotten Fridays is an occasional feature here at If It’s Too Loud... where we go back and find the lost records of our glory days. We played these on our college radio shows, put them on countless mix tapes, and then forgot they existed. We go back and remind you of their existence, and help decide if they were any good.

Bill Janovitz has a handful of solo albums out. Way back in 1996 saw the release of his first solo album, Lonesome Billy. The songs on Lonesome Billy were mostly songs written for Buffalo Tom but didn't quite fit in. It's easy to see why. While the album's opener, "Girl's Club," has some of Buffalo Tom's trademark noise mixed into their 90's alt-rock sound, the very next song, "Think of All," is purely a folk/country song. Looking back, a lot of this sound has worked its way into Buffalo Tom, but in 1996 this was almost a complete departure. "Shoulder" sounds like it could be a demo for a Buffalo Tom song, but the piano driven, straightforward cover of the standard "My Funny Valentine" is from a different world. Plus, the album features Joey Burns and John Convertino (then from Giant Sand and now from Calexico) as his backing band, so it's even more interesting to go back and check out.

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