Bill Wyman / Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings

Double Bill

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On 2001's Double Bill, Bill Wyman uses two well-packed discs to prove again what he had always previously managed to make clear on a single LP: He's a monster bass player and a mediocre (at best) singer who relies on his many famous friends to help him out. The friends this time range from George Harrison (who adds slide guitar to the somnambulant blues "Love Letters") to vocal jazz legend Keely Smith, tragically underused on too few backing vocal parts. The 24 tracks on Double Bill sound like the work of a perfectly competent band working at some nondescript House of Blues-type pseudo-juke joint, the kind of place where the music is as inauthentic and geared toward inoffensiveness as the food. Double Bill isn't really a bad album -- it's frankly too boring for that -- but it's frustrating when one considers what the principals could be doing with themselves.

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