BILL PHILLIPE Ghosts
Arkansas Street Records
Bill has been playing, recording and performing blues based music in one form or another for over thirty year’s now, mainly in and around the San Francisco Bay area. For the last ten year’s though he has focused mainly upon New Orleans Deep Funk; in which time he released three albums; Ascended Masters of the order of the Tantric FOnk, FOnk and FOnkOlOgy. In two thousand and twelve he came full circle and decided to pursue the origins of the music he so loves. He has now produced an album that is a mixture of traditional Delta Blues and New Orleans tunes with varying influences that include such artist as; Willie Johnson, Robert Johnson, and Mississippi John Hurt. The light and deft touch that Bill applies to his acoustic playing infuses each of the renditions with a delicate and almost spectral atmosphere that seeps surreptitiously into your listening brain. This is evident on the first number, Robert Johnson’s tale of Po, Bob’s disturbed soul in Come On In My Kitchen, a bare, sparse and solemn acoustic guitar is matched with Bill’s low and melancholy vocals. Another Robert Johnson number on the album is, In My Time Of Dyin’ here, Bill touchingly and achingly interprets the uplifted spirit and passion of the original. Although, Bill is respectful of the numbers chosen here, he does not submerge his talent and individuality in an effort to create a faithful replication, no, in fact on such numbers as; Motherless Children, The Ballad Of Blind Willie and You’re Gonna Need Somebody On Your Bond, there is a definite dash of contemporary feeling emerging through. On Father’s Lament, Bill allows time and space to thread it’s way deliciously in between the ephemeral acoustic passages. Recommended!