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Bill Curreri

Hard Road Home

Review by Gary Hill

I previously reviewed another set from Bill Curreri. I said of that one that it was sort of in the same Americana style as Tom Petty, but that the vocals seemed a bit strange to me. That's a pretty accurate description of this set, too. That said, this has a bit more of a hard rocking edge a lot of the time. The thing with those vocals is that they seem better suited to alternative rock than they do to this type of music. However, Curreri somehow manages to make it work. The closing two-fer on this is worth the price of admission by itself, but everything here is worth listening.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2020  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Hard Road Home
Electric guitar brings a solid blues rocking sound into being. The cut works out to the song proper from there, dropping a bit for the entrance of the vocals. This is energetic and classy.
Still Running
I really love the guitar fills on this meaty track. There is a driving energy to the cut. It has some cool hooks, too.
The Point Of No Return
A mellower number, piano is prominent on this tune. It gets more powered up as it moves forward, but remains balladic throughout. There is some tasty guitar soloing on the number, too.
Heart Of Stone
A hard rocking tune, this has some killer hooks. It's one of the highlights of the disc. I like the driving energy to it. There are some hints of country built into this piece, too. The guitar solo brings a classic Southern rock kind of vibe.
Call My Name
Another with solid hooks, this is a fun track. It has more of a melodic singer songwriter vibe at its heart. There are definite nods to both folk music and country.
She's The One

A trippy arrangement opens this cut. It has a real psychedelic edge in its echoey kind of modes. The vocals come in over the top of this mellow arrangement. This number brings some real variety to the set. The cut gets built up a bit as it carries forward, but that unusual arrangement persists as a guitar holds an almost prog texture. After a while it shifts out to more mainstream sounds and we're back into the kind of thing that the rest of the set has prepared us for. That guitar returns over the top as it continues, though, really soaring.

A Fool's Heart Crying
I like the guitar fill that brings a bit of a country rock edge to the piece. This has a driving folk rock feeling at its core. This is catchy and one of the strongest songs of the set. The guitar solo on this thing is particularly meaty, too.
If Only To Be Me
The organ on this cut does a great job of bringing a retro texture to the piece, but the whole song has that kind of vibe built into it, really. There are some country guitar fills later in the number. This is a catchy piece that works particularly well.
Finale: Love Gone Wrong/Walk With Me
This closing two-fer is an epic piece that runs almost nine-and-a-half minutes. The opening half is an up-tempo rocker that has some great retro edges and poignant lyrics. I dig the Americana guitar solo on it. The second part of this is a mellower, trippy kind of number. It is very pretty and dreamy. It is such a pretty piece of music. That helps to make this piece the perfect choice to close to the set.
 
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