Friday, July 13, 2012

Billy Sheehan: ''Cosmic Troubadour''

- David "Skinny Devil" McLean
Originally published at Tinfoil Music
Date: Tuesday, March 01 2005 @ 13:10:52 GMT

               If you don't know who Billy Sheehan is, then allow me to introduce him: He is the MAN. Stints with Mr. Big, Talas, David Lee Roth, and others have made him a legend in the world of music, and he is widely thought of as the greatest rock bassist in history. He is currently in Steve Vai's touring band and also played bass on Vai's latest CD (see review here at Tinfoil). In addition he has just released his latest solo effort, called "Cosmic Troubadour".

     Joining Billy is Ray Luzier on drums and programming wiz Simone Sello. Everything else - bass, vocals, & guitars - is handled by Billy, who also wrote all 15 songs.

The CD opens with the take-no-prisoners rocker "Toss it on the Flame" followed immediately by 14 more trax of incredible music. While the bass plays a prominent role in the music, the music of "Cosmic Troubadour" is in no way a mere platform for Billy to show off his amazing chops, but a complete work with strong grooves, melodies, lyrics, and delivery. That said, the chops are amazing with a capital "A"!

"Cosmic Troubadour" features 6 songs with lyrics, and the rest is instrumental. While his vocal work is excellent, Billy's bass-playing fans will naturally gravitate towards these instrumental trax...and rightfully so. Billy's work is even more amazing now than his past work. Still here are funky grooves, the swashbuckling approach, the lightning riffs & licks, the tapped harmonics & feedback. But we see some delightful extras from Billy's bass skills, including harmonized bass runs and an other-worldly feel that Billy touched on with his first solo release, "Compression", and his project with drummer Terry Bozzio, "9 Short Films". We also get some really cool guitar playing from the bass-master!

Highlights? Too many to list, cowboys! This CD is a wondrous musical experience. Yes, you need this one in your collection, and you need it now!

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