The Billy's

Another Winner

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The Billy's are another good example of Minneapolis' strong Americana scene. The band's sound consists of equal parts of the heartland rock of John Mellencamp, the country rock of the Eagles, and the jangle pop of R.E.M., with a bit of local Minneapolis heroes like Soul Asylum thrown in. The group features excellent vocal harmonies. Song highlights include the rocking opening track "Lighted Candle," the country treatments of songs like "Half-Hearted Try" and the banjo-enhanced "Miss Therapy," and the jazzy closer "Mr. Stipe" which is a gentle chiding of R.E.M.'s singer Michael Stipe about his statement that he would have lived as a pauper if his records had never sold, and would have never abandoned his music for a more lucrative career. This is the type of album which would have been hailed as a great work if it had been released by a band on a major label, but as it is, it will go unnoticed. Those who know of the band, however, know that The Billy's are worthy of attention.

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