‘Turmoil & Tinfoil’ – Billy Strings - mercilessness intensity, powerhouse drive(August 27, 2017)
No matter what styles come and go there’s always a place for blistering picking, and Billy Strings rattles the strings faster than many. His new album, ‘Turmoil & Tinfoil’ released 22 September 2017 offers ample evidence. He launches bluegrass into places it never thought to go and along the way takes the energy of deep roots that form the foundation of his music into his multi-influenced world. Sometimes it feels as though he drags it along screaming and kicking but the essential fire that burns through this music soon creates a drive that all bluegrass fans will pick up and run with.
This picking-fuelled energy begins with ‘On The Line’, screams through ‘Meet Me At The Creek’ before the mournful ‘All Of Tomorrow’ reveals the depth of those roots. My favourite tracks on this album are ‘Living Like An Animal’, the spiky and inventive ‘Salty Sheep’ and the enveloping concentration of ‘Pyramid Country’. And then there’s the ‘hidden’ track at number 13 from somewhere on the far side of weird – make up your own mind.
This is bluegrass with meaning, mercilessness in its intensity, powerhouse in its drive. The live shows are legendary. This album is almost as penetrating. Want to hear one of Americana’s fired up and supercharged roots guitarists in full flow, listen to ‘Turmoil & Tinfoil’.
Review: Tom Franks