Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

REV. BILLY C. WIRTZ

FULL CIRCLE

2017-01-30

The Rev. Billy C. Wirtz is part court jester, part philosopher and full time talented. Taking the lead on piano and vocals and fronting none other than East Coast blues mainstays, The Nighthawks, he delivers not only top notch musicianship as revealed on instrumental tracks such as "Smokie Part 2" and "Your Last Goodbye" but also takes the listener through being too old to rock but just right for the blues when he finally discovers what a mojo is, "Too Old", laments losing his spot as his woman’s number one but not liking the sound of being her number two, "One Point Five", reflects on growing up with a Deadhead mother, "Mama Was A Deadhead", imagines the fun at an unlikely "Mennonite Surf Party", name checks the rock party in Heaven, "Rockin’ Up to Gloryland", details the indignities of getting old, "I’m a Senior", and reveals the joy of getting song inspiration from stories that find their way to him such as when a deceased dad’s ex-wife starts dating his girlfriend, "Daddy Passed Away". Most of these cuts are delivered with tongue firmly in cheek and with witty lyrics laden with double entendre wordplay. While the upbeat nature of the tunes and comedic tone play against the stereotypical blues it would be a mistake to cast this off as a mere novelty disc. The Rev. throws down some serious chops as he channels Jerry Lee Lewis on "Breakup"," Mennonite Surf Party" and "Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee" and I’ll bet you that you’ll be humming most of these tunes long after you’ve forgotten the latest recycled boogie or shuffle released as the next new thing in modern blues. Smitty

review by Mark

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

The opinions expressed in these reviews are those of the individual volunteers that submitted the article and do not necessarily reflect the views of WYCE or GRCMC; nor its staff, donors, or affiliates.