Billy Walton Band – 'Soul of A Man' - Album Review

Taken from the band's Bio - There was a time when the Jersey Shore represented the best in American entertainment. Count Basie, Lionel Hampton, the Rat Pack, Dick Clark, Chubby Checker, they all made stops on the Jersey Shore. Tony Mart’s was the club Levon Helm was playing when Dylan called.

Of course we all know what happened in Asbury Park. The town, ravaged by riots in the late 60’s, became a melting pot of musical experimentation. Late night jams that ended when the sun came up were the norm. Bruce Springsteen & Southside Johnny were the two acts that made their way to an international stage from these humble beginnings.

For decades musicians have come and gone, always hoping to make a living and pursue a dream. Billy Walton is no different. Billy’s proving ground was Long Beach Island. There he was chaperoned from gig to gig by his Mom, two young to drive around and enter the clubs on his own. He always was up for a jam and looking to learn some tricks. For years Billy spent his time sharpening his skills, developing his stage act until he decided to step up to center stage with the Billy Walton Band.

'Save The Last Dance' gives such a feel good start to the album, a real bounce along tune to get you going.

With the start of 'I Don't Know', track two, you would think you're in New Orleans until the band come in.

'Hell or Highwater' slows the pace for a bluesy feel before we get a funky vibe layed down by the horns section for 'Something Better'.

'My Little Bird', slow and mellow is the only way to describe this beautiful track.

'Let Go' raises the pace again with a Blues Brothers band feel, you could almost imagine Jake and Elwood singing this. 'It Ain't True' is another Blues Brothers sounding track, just a good fun sound.

'Shine The Light' is a mid tempo blues number with an addictive guitar riff. The albums title 'Soul Of A Man' is mentioned throughout its lyrics.

'Green River' has a T-Rex mixed with a CCR vibe sound which is great and this is one of my favourite tracks on the album.

'Poison Pill', soulful and jazzy is the only way to describe this track, a truly wonderful sound.

Next up we are taken to the deep south with a swampy bluesy sound with 'Minglewood'.

'Can't Keep A Good Man Down' is another feel good song with a bounce along vibe before we finish with 'Days Like These', a mellow ending to a very good album by some class musicians.

Track list:

1. 'Save The Last Dance'

2. 'I Don't Know'

3. 'Hell or Highwater'

4. 'Something Better'

5. 'My Little Bird'

6. 'Let Go'

7. 'It Ain't True'

8. 'Shine The Light'

9. 'Green River'

10. 'Poison Pill'

11. 'Minglewood'

12. 'Can't Keep A Good Man Down'

13. 'Days Like These'

'Hell or Highwater' - Official Video