The Latest: June 29, 2014
Black Forest Community Center
12530 Black Forest Rd. Black Forest, Colorado (map)
Bill Hearne calls it 'The Road:' that metaphorical ribbon of honky-tonks, roadhouses, empty whiskey glasses, prison cells and unrequited love line with signposts and mile markers tattooed with names like Haggard, as in Merle, Williams, as in Hank, Owens, as in Buck and Lovett, as in Lyle.
Being legally blind, Bill has never actually driven The Road himself, but he sings with such authority of the tales he's heard while riding shotgun that you'd never know it.
Bill doesn't write his own songs. His greatness lies in his interpretive skills. His husky Texas baritone finds its way into a song's interior with the mellowness of fine bourbon and the warmth of a Sunday picnic. And of course, there's his pickin', a style he calls 'cross picking.' Like fellow cross-pickers Tony Rice and Doc Watson, Bill is improvisational. "I hardly ever play the same thing twice,” he says.
The Road, of course, isn't just a place of broken hearts and faded dreams. Bill's just-released Frogville CD, A Good Ride is a hearty blend of tear-jerkers and foot-tappers. Impeccably produced, A Good Ride is infectiously listenable. Bill's guitar phrasings have never sounded sweeter and his voice seems to only improve with age. Always rich and full bodied, his voice inhabits A Good Ride with a warmth and familiarty that only proves what countless fans across the Southewest have always known: Bill never lies. He feels it, and so do we. Bill is the Real Deal, a genuine article in a country-music world that seems to have forsaken its roots.
A Good Ride is a good record, with something for everyone. Once-upon-a-time folkies will relish Bill's versions of Gordon Lightfoot's "Long, Thin Dawn." Bill warms up Hoyt Axton's dark "Evangeline" with colorful phrasings that are at turns thoughtful and playful. Delbert McClinton's "Object of My Affection" rocks enough that the grandkids will dig it, if not find it downright groovy. “We've got something for everyone on this album,” Bill says. “We're giving people their money's worth, that's for sure.”
Well, Bill, you've actually been doin' that for years. Come along with Bill on The Road. If you don't have a good time, well then, you must be sleeping in the back seat. Come on out to see this Black Rose favorite on August 22…you’ll be glad you did!www.billhearne.com