Late, great Glastonbury music scene legend Dan Bradford had a great way of describing his music – “Bitsa – bits of this, bits of that”.
It’s been three years since he died but his tradition lives on with another Glastonbury based artist, Billy Shinbone (aka Jesse Budd from psychedelic popsters Flipron and the Neville Staple Band).
For this debut album Jesse has taken his love of 1960s psychedelia and merged it with bits of the old country and Cajun music he became engrossed in while touring the USA with Flipron.
It’s a combination that proves effective as within his guise of Billy Shinbone, he creates, inhabits and owns his own world – of an Englishman with eclectic tastes, suited up, with banjo, guitar, accordion and more taking to the stage in the smokey dives and bars of Texas and Tennessee.
From the reverbed guitar, whistling and accordion of opener Mostly Cloudy, Occassionally Sunny to the psychedelic, country finger-picking of Hoard of Hope and Plunder, there is plenty of opportunity to showcase his instrumental skills.
If You think You’ll Get Away With It also has all the hallmarks of lead single. This foot stomping, banjo and harmonica driven track has the best chorus on the album.
Temptation’s Got The Good Stuff, with some smart guitar dampening, runs this track a close second as our current favourite.
There’s a bit of a hoedown going on later on the album with Another Bunch of Flowers before last orders are called for the mean and moody Thanks But No Thanks, Baby.
Fans of Robyn Hitchcock are among those urged to catch Jesse when he tours his Billy Shinbone Show in the coming months in the UK. Hitchcock’s own “bitsa” mentality, of combining the music of his adopted home Nashville with whimsical English pop and psychedelia, is arguably a good point of reference.
With a bit of this, a bit of that working so well here, Dan would have been proud.
by Joe Lepper
For more information about The Billy Shinbone Show visit his website here.