the arkive

  • Bill Janovitz - Lonesome Billy
  • 1. Girl's Club
    2. Think Of All
    3. Shoulder
    4. Gaslight
    5. Ghost In My Piano
    6. Strangers
    7. My Funny Valentine
    8. Peninsula
    9. Talking To The Queen
    10. Red Balloon

Bill Janovitz

Lonesome Billy

Beggars Banquet
Released 2 December 1996

The whole idea behind making a solo album is supposed to be getting the opportunity to make music you couldn't create within the context of your band and, while it's hard to say if it would have been impossible for Buffalo Tom frontman Bill Janovitz to have made a record like Lonesome Billy with his usual cohorts, no one would deny that it sure doesn't sound much like a Buffalo Tom record. Working with Joey Burns and John Convertino of Giant Sand and Calexico, Janovitz traded in Buffalo Tom's taut power-trio attack for a loose, amiably trippy approach that allowed the soulful side of his personality to rise to the surface (not to mention a playful, sometimes goofy sense of humor). While Janovitz' lyrics aren't dramatically different than his usual fare on Lonesome Billy, the melodies reveal a somewhat twangier orientation, and the flexible but emphatic support of Burns and Convertino allows Janovitz to find a groove that's funky, organic, and instantly comfortable. And Janovitz would certainly never have allowed himself moments like the beer-fueled country weeper "Strangers" or the charmingly shambolic version of "My Funny Valentine" on one of his "regular" albums, but here they manage to sound goofy, heartfelt, and perfectly natural all at once. Lonesome Billy doesn't quite suggest that Bill Janovitz should give up his other band, but it certainly shows that he has tricks up his sleeve that you wouldn't have expected from listening to Let Me Come Over or Sleepy Eyed. - Mark Deming, Rovi