Bill Eberle- Matter & Time

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A couple of weeks ago I had never heard of Bill Eberle or his music.  Then I clicked a link on someone’s Facebook post and within 30 seconds I was a complete convert.  Over the past two weeks I spent time in Maine devouring this album at the beach, trips to the packy(That’s Boston speak for liquor store) and sitting on the porch at night up to no good.

I’ve been meaning to write this review for the past week but it’s very hard for me to put this album into words.   It’s part pure country, part folk, part blues and pure genius throughout.  It’s hard to write about an album that you think might be the best you’ve heard in years.

The album opens with “Mean Mama Blues” and if you’ve ever been with a complicated woman you’ll find this meandering blues tune speaks right to you.  “I got a girl, she won’t treat me right.  She likes to drink hard liquor and she loves to fight.”  Alright Bill….I’m sold and you had me at ‘Hard Liquor’.

The fact that this album feels so authentic is part of its beauty.  I remember listening to Josh Ritter’s “The Animal Years” and thinking….the album SOUNDS like it should.  This feels exactly the same to me.  When the band launches into the twang filled rocker “Too Late to Take It All back” you could be in a dive bar waiting for your change on “2 Draught for 1” night.

There is plenty here for the folk fans as well with “Long Way Home” being one of the stand outs for me.  It’s a rolling folk number with perfect accompaniment about choices made in life.  “And babe I finally quit that drinkin’, I wanna be more like the man I was when we first met.  But still I hear them demons singing to me, and each melody’s a memory I never will forget”

There’s definitely some input here on the state of America as a whole with songs like “Ashes(Trayvon Martin Blues) but it’s never preachy or over the top.  It just exists within the album but doesn’t threaten to define the album.  It’s the perfect seasoning in my estimation.

The album is the rare one with no filler.  Everything is there for a reason including the production which is spot on.

The crown jewel of “Matter & Time” is “Same Old Town”.  The song opens with the creaking chair Bill is sitting down to play the song which is simply acoustic guitar and vocals.  The lyrics are delivered in such an infectious cadence that I spent the whole time in Maine singing this one over and over.  Songs about home towns are surely ground which has been mined before but not like this.  “It’s the same old song, that you love to live without, the world it will chew you up and spit you back out”.

So, Bill Eberle’s “Matter & Time” is Essential Listening and my album of the year for 2016 right now.  I’m hopeful he makes it up to Boston so I can catch this kid before he gets all big and famous.

Down to business!  I’m saying this one is best served with a 6 pack of PBR talls in a cooler on the back of a car with a fifth of Jim Beam.  That’ll work.

PS- BUY this album on bandcamp and put a few bucks in his pocket

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BILL EBERLE – BILL EBERLE

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Bill keeps his internet bio kinda cagey so we don’t get to know too much about him through it. His Facebook page labels him as Brooklyn and Nashville. If you believe that his songs are somewhat autobiographical then Bill has had some pretty crappy girlfriends (Too Late To Take It All Back) and he moved from Tennessee to Brooklyn only to grow disenchanted with the Big Apple and return to the volunteer state (Memphis).

Here is what I do know. Bill Erble lives in Nashville. He may or may not have just had a baby. He is Todd Farrell’s neighbor. By all accounts, he is a pretty nice guy and this could, very well, be the first review of his self-titled album.

I can see why people might hear this album and pass on writing about it. It’s really hard to find an angle to write about it from. It’s a songwriters album and those just aren’t sexy to write about. I’ve been sitting on this same problem since I started playing the guy on Ninebullets Radio a few months ago. What do you say about an album that is just about the songs and keeps everything else right and tight in the Americana wheelhouse?

In the end, I decided to say just that. Bill’s self-titled album is a collection of songs. Not neat bloops, production techniques or genre expanding instrumentation; it’s just an album made for people who still pay attention to songs. To lyrics. Not every album has to be sexy. Sometimes, they can just be good.

Congrats Bill. You made a really good album. Thank you.

The Stomp
Memphis
Too Late To Take It All Back

Bill Eberle’s Official Site, Bill Eberle on Facebook, Buy Bill’s album