Bill Foreman
"Chevy w/Balding Tires"

(General Ludd Music 2003)Bill Foreman - Chevy w/Balding Tires

A little Lou Reed and a little Tom Waits, Bill Foreman's "Chevy w/Balding Tires" is a collection of poetic stories told, occasionally, with a very dry sense of humor. Performed solely by Bill Foreman, the album is a mix of songs from acoustic guitar and vocals only to a jumping swing number. Sure, there are a few men killed within the course of the album but, hey, that's rock "˜n' roll.

Foreman opens the album with its title song, a loose rock tune about an unattainable, pious girl who he threatens with raising "some Hell beneath that cross/That's right, I'll tell the flock's big boss/That you once dated a black guy." The album offers a variety of sounds as the swing of "A Man and His Laboratory" and the simple guitar (with a nice guitar and then whistle solo) on the Velvet Underground sounding "When My Wife Takes Me by My Hand." The fourth track, "My Favorite Recipe (for Dawn)," is an instrumental that serves well as a break in the album and a nice introduction to the acoustic guitar and vocals of "The Man from Manila." The up tempo grooving tale about stumbling upon a field of marijuana in "To an Angry Pot Farmer" shows Foreman's humorous side with lines like "All hail parental authority!/These words now can fill my heart with glee" and "I'll assume that this is all grown for clothes,/Rope, oil and the nation's glory." With toned down songs like "The Desert," the up tempo shuffle of "Target Practice" and the nice and catchy melody of "Out and Upward," Foreman doesn't wander too far from his original sound and remains focused. Made up by Foreman's vocals and acoustic guitar playing, "The Caddy," the album's final song, tells the tale of a golf caddy with some homicidal tendencies.

Complete with rhyme schemes but no choruses, the songs are the truest form of poetry put to music. The album includes a booklet with interesting excerpts on topics ranging from organic food to oppression. And with Foreman's otherwise nonconformist, not overly polished sound, "Chevy w/Balding Tires" is an enjoyable listen, especially considering his strength at story telling, well worth putting on repeat.

A-

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