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BILL BLOOMER —JUBILEE (Self-Released)

Please note this isn't the album cover. 

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Born in Galesburg, Illinois Americana singer-songwriter Bill Bloomer has more than one or two tales to tell. By all account he has a sack full of ‘em. Here is a man who can list Lion wrestling, Buddhist Monk and ex-rodeo Champion among his credits. To date he has attracted praise from the likes of Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Eric Anderson, Butch Hancock, Greg Brown and Victoria Williams among others. 

Bloomer’s vocals are earthy, and though he isn’t blessed with the most diverse range or one that flows like water from a mountain stream he makes up for this through his careful handling of ever lyric (and he writes some of the finest I have come across in a long while) as he places sufficient character and soul into his delivery to flood the bottom lands, and more beside.  

You can detect hints of Ray Wylie Hubbard on “Columbus” and with an almost pithy feel “Goin’ Electric” comes with tender acoustic guitar, and sound effects on the intro as he delivers a compositions about the man he was inspired by Bob Dylan. It  is a song the legendary figure would be proud to call his own. It could be said on occasions he chews his words a little, but you can’t allow this to influence you because you would then be a big-time looser. 

Each song title has a place listed alongside it, Portland, San Antonio, Austin, and Memphis etc. I can only presume the tracks were either written there or the seed was sown. The “Gift Of Love” is warmed in violin, B3-organ has Austin, Texas listed alongside it, and the moody, haunting even “Roses, Bridges & Rain” has Portland but sounds more Southern than anything on the record. Hence the compelling, dark imagery of old Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama that floods my mind every time I play it and I play it a lot!. On loosening the cinch Bloomer follows it with the perky banjo, accordion led “Winter On The Road”; this as he speaks of the road, Joshua Tree and Memphis and of how he’s been the new kid all his blessed life (and would be happy to spend the winter on the road). Of the curves on life’s road, and how we are just children trying to get home. With it plied in tasty accordion (Lisa Mednick Powell), piano (Bobby Furgo), banjo (Chuck Unck), guitar (Bloomer) and percussion (Danny Frankel) it’s a winner. Likewise, arguably more so Bloomer kills it dead on “Go Find Yourself”. What a wonderful conversational piece. This as you have the likes of Matt Smith (tiple), James Gwyn (drums) accompany Bloomer's guitar and lead vocals, stripped right back every little nuance is transferred to the listener. “Animal Channel” closes the record, and with classy piano (Connor Forsyth), harmonica (James Platt) you have hints of jazz breathe on Bloomer’s song, that enjoys such lines as ‘we could learn from the birds and bees in an effort to rescue and me’.   

            Maurice Hope 

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December 2018
1
Malford Milligan
75 pts.
Life Will Humble You
Royal Family Records
JF,FB
2
JD McPherson
61 pts.
Socks
New West Records
CVL,DHO,MVP,MB
3
Rosanne Cash
50 pts.
She Remembers Everything
Blue Note Records
WR,BP,JSM,HB
4
Ad Vanderveen
45 pts.
I Was Hank William
Blue Rose Records
TK,LM,BM,JB
5
John Hiatt
44 pts.
The Eclipse Sessions
New West
FC
6
The Yearlings
41 pts.
Skywriting
Lonely Sounds Records
EZ
7
Tip Jar
40 pts.
Onward
Independent
FS
8
Nathan Bell
39 pts.
Loves Bones & Stars
Angry Stick Recording Co.
RB,SZ,PG
9
The Brother Brothers
38 pts.
Some People I Know
Compass Records
BK
10
Richard Dobson
30 pts.
I Hear Singing
Brambus Records
JS,NC
11
Steve Forbert
29 pts.
The Magic Tree
Blue Rose Music
PR
12
J.P. Harris
28 pts.
Sometimes Dogs Bark At Nothing
Free Dirt Records
TJ
13
The Bottle Rockets
24 pts.
Bit Logic
Bloodshot Records
GS,PKO
14
Rodney Crowell
23 pts.
Christmas Everywhere
New West
 
15
Christian Kjellvander
22 pts.
Wild Hxmans
Tapete
 
16
Erin Costelo
21 pts.
Sweet Marie
Compass Records
PJ
17
Colter Wall
20 pts.
Songs of the Plains
Young Mary's Record
 
18
The Hillbenders
19 pts.
The Hillbenders
Compass Records
FH
19
Eric Bibb
18 pts.
Global Griot
Stony Plain
 
 
Karine Polwart
18 pts.
Laws of Motion
Hudson Records
HH,KG
21
Carson McHone
17 pts.
Carousel
Nine Mile Records
 
 
Malcolm Holcombe
17 pts.
Come Hell Or High Water
Gypsy Eyes Music
MF
23
Ben Bedford
16 pts.
The Hermit's Spyglass
Cavalier Recordings
SP
 
Craig Moreau
16 pts.
A Different Kind Of Train
Independent
MP
 
David Olney
16 pts.
This Side Or The Other
Black Hen Music

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