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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Bill Mumy

Until the Big Bang Whimpers

Review by Gary Hill

Bill Mumy is a very consistent artist in terms of delivering one quality album after another. He understands the concepts of good songwriting and the fine art of varying music from song to song. It all adds up to superior disc time after time. This album is his first true concept album, and it is a great set.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Real Good Thing

“Real Good Thing” combines a slow singer/songwriter style with a blues sound and some bits of gospel. There are guitar bits that call to mind the late 1960s pop era and there’s also a bit of a jazz air to the piece. At first audio glance this feels understated, but it really oozes cool and style. It’s a cool way to start the set in style.

The Big Barn is Burnin’
The arrangement here isn’t as full of sound as on the opener. It’s got more of a stripped down, old school blues rock sound. It’s tasty, and a good dose of variety, but perhaps not as impressive as the opener.
I Owe a Little Money
Folk, blues and singer songwriter stylings merge in this tasty number. It’s not an Earthshaking change, but it’s a strong cut.
I Know the Way to Love You
This cut takes on a blues meets jam band approach in fine fashion. There’s some killer guitar soloing going on and while this is not a huge jump up from the last few tracks, it really rocks! There’s definitely an Allman Brothers vibe here, but also some serious blues like John Lee Hooker.
Isn’t That What You Said?
In a definite change of pace, piano opens this. It essentially a piano and vocal ballad, but there is some guitar in the mix at times.
If You Got Your Mind Made Up
A slow jam band kind of arrangement makes up this tune. It’s not that far removed from something The Grateful Dead might do. There’s still a lot of legitimate blues in the mix, though.
Destiny’s Shore
A stripped down, old school blues sound with a lot of bluegrass in the mix makes up this piece. It’s a definite change of pace and also quite cool.
Take Us Home
Acoustic guitar and voice are the central elements here. Comparisons to Bob Dylan and other folk artists seems appropriate, although Mumy’s voice is much better than Dylan’s. Other instruments create layers of flavor and style atop the primary components. This is another that leans a bit towards country or bluegrass music at times.
Chariots Comin’
Acoustic guitar and voice start this and hold it for a time. The whole thing gets a gospel meets R & B kind of arrangement as it continues.
The Other Side of the Other Side
Folk music and singer songwriter stylings are presented in this intimate and beautiful cut. Some electric guitar comes in as it continues. This is my favorite piece of the set. It’s just so poignant.
Wrestling with Survival
In some ways this doesn’t vary that much from the music on the rest of the set. Still, it’s less blues oriented and somehow more upbeat thematically, too.
Until the Big Bang Whimpers
This cool cut has quite a bit of jazz and progressive rock built into it. In many ways it makes me think of something along the lines of the retro stylings of Booker T. and the MGs. It’s a great way to end things in style. Other than a single line that gets repeated it’s an instrumental.
 
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