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Billy Talbot Band - Alive In The Spirit World

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 22 / 12 / 2005

Billy Talbot Band - Alive In The Spirit World
Label: Diesel Motor
Format: CD


First-rate debut album from the side project of Billy Talbot, who is best known for being the bassist with Crazy Horse

Billy Talbot is best known for being the bassist with Crazy Horse, the grungy backing band of Neil Young who have appeared on about half his output. ‘Alive in the Spirit World’ is the first album of his side project. The album kicks off with ‘The Way Life Is’ which has a full band sound, and features a perky vocal from Billy, which could be compared to a non-mumbling Bob Dylan. This opening song is joyful with life and has an air of Neil Young about it, but in a commercial pop way. Billy’s guitar solo is very Crazy Horse. ‘Painting of a Man’ is stripped down and acoustic but with a demon lead guitar and is slow as Neil’s ‘Prairie Wind.’ The harmony is beautifully played but it gets more grungy as it develops. ‘On the Horizon’has a banjo vibe, and is elegant Americana, sung in a relaxed manner until the song progresses and it then gets more rocky. ‘His song’ starts off with a strummed, pleasant lead guitar and an elegant drum pattern on drums. It is narrative-based and has a strong backing beat. You can’t keep a good man down, now can you, and ‘Security Girl’ from the start is pure Crazy Horse. It clocks in at 11 minutes 18 seconds and recalls the rocky elements of 1979’s ‘Rust Never Sleeps’. It is well thought out and clever, and while at one level it is familiar it also sounds new. It is followed by the second longest track here, ‘Dreamer’, which, at just over 10 minutes long, is soft and acoustic, and also features an organ. A guitar rhythm assists Billy’s husky vocal, and as its progresses it gets more proggy in a fine Crazy Horse manner. ‘Rainy Days’ starts off in the pastoral territory of Neil Young’s 1972 solo album ‘Harvest’ and remains there, while ‘Stress Release; is again acoustic, with some haunting backing on guitar and drums and a vocal sung in film noir style. ‘Strained’ is somewhat 70’s in feel with banjo, flute and acoustic guitar, and again is very mellow before a getting louder and once again recalling Crazy Horse. ‘Living in the Spiritual World’ ends it, and is about the joy of love, giving and all that a relationship can reward you with. An excellent record by one of rock’s most talented bass players ever

Track Listing:-
1 The Way Life Is
2 Painting Of A Man
3 On The Horizon
4 His Song
5 Security Girl
6 Dreamer
7 Rainy Days
8 Stress Release
9 Stained
10 Living In The Spirit World
11 Dreamer

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