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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Bill Mumy

Carnival Sky

Review by Gary Hill

I really like Bill Mumy’s music. There’s generally nothing earth shattering or genre breaking, but it’s just accessible and yet meaty at the same time. The music here works its way between folk, blues, classic rock and singer songwriter motifs. It never fails to entertain or generally wow the listener. There’s not a weak track here. Nor does it ever seem to get monolithic in its delivery. All in all, this is a classy album from a guy that knows something about making classy (and classic) music.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
When It Comes From One of the Guys

A tribal, Latin sort of percussion groove leads us in and then the guitar joins after a time. This is a fairly stripped down groove that’s got some voodoo and plenty of blues in its mix. It has a killer hard edged crunch to it and a great mood. The vocals are mostly spoken.

A Garden Turned to Weeds
With an even more stripped down blues motif, this rocker is quite tasty.
Blizzard of Time
We still get some blues elements here, but really this is more like a singer songwriter kind of number. It’s got some killer classic rock leanings and I like it a lot. I’d peg this one as my favorite so far. It reminds me quite a bit of Dire Straits. 
You Told Me Once
The dosage of the blues is heavier here, but overall this is an old school rock and roller that is as much Chuck Berry as it is The Beatles, but there’s even a little bit of a punk rock edge to it. The first guitar solo is all old school and sounds like it could have come from the nimble fingers of Mr. Berry himself. 
Long Enough to Tell
This one feels to me like Elton John meets Bob Dylan. It’s a great folk styled ballad that is another highlight of the set.
Red Light Burning
Bring on the funk. This has a jazzy sort of funky groove. It’s soulful and another highlight of the set. There’s definitely still some blues in the mix here. 
Nothing to Brag About (John Wilkes Booth)
A mellow balladic number, this is rather moody. It’s got a bit of a country edge to it and just a little prog rock, too – I can make out some Pink Floyd here. 
No Man's Land
A harder rocker, this has that singer songwriter texture. It’s gritty and very cool. 
The Next Big Thing
A bouncy little, mellower number, there’s some country and folk in the mix on this track. 
Scene of the Crime
Bob Dylan again comes to mind. There are some hints of country music here and this is just plain tasty. It’s another highlight of the set. Here’s another that cut that makes me think of Dire Straits at times.
Reconnect to this World
A slow bluesy groove is the main order of business here. This song has a little bit of a Tom Petty feeling to it, but Bob Dylan is also on display. It’s definitely another standout track and has a really killer tone. 
Like A Fire in the Rain
This is a pretty and delicate (and quite intricate) ballad that’s just acoustic guitar and voice. Normally I think that something sedate like this fails in the final position on an album. In this case it somehow works really well.
 
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