San Francisco based singer and guitarist Bill’s previous set was a solo outing called “Ghosts”, aptly enough – he has a sparse, ethereal and haunting sound which continues onto the follow-up, even though here he has enlisted the musical support of clarinettist Ivor Holloway, bassist Swen Hendrickson and accordionist Glenn Hartman. Belying the cover photos of a celebratory parade, the album has a very downbeat, and frequently melancholy sound, with echoes of 20s and 30s blues and jazz in places: Duke Ellington’s ‘Solitude’ is one of two covers; the other is Tom Waits’ ‘Take It With Me’. The title track and ‘Red Beret’ are the nearest this set gets to happy – and that’s not too close! My first impression was that this is one for all the vintage Leonard Cohen fans, and repeated listening hasn’t really changed that.
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