Quite a switch from his much gentler progressive side in Speechless (here), Lost in Space TV star Bill Mumy has a genuinely blue side, a gritty I-been-there aspect carried by more than a little talent on the guitar (as well as bass, drums, piano—hell, he plays everything here except for a Russ Kunkel drum loop on one cut). As opposed to so many of the Hollywood set imagining name value determines significance or pan-artistic talent, this guy actually has undeniable cachet.
He also wrote and engineered everything, but don't imagine this is the average bedroom production. The layers work well (though the soundfield's imaging could've been a bit more expansive), and Mumy's sandy vocal rasp is faintly Dylanesque though he waxes into Zevon here and there (f'rinstance, You Told Me Once, where he also genuinely sounds like a full band), more from an L.A. bayou than Louisianan. The emphasis is on guitar and vocals, but don't neglect the keyboards, the guy has a Jerry Lee sensibility that livens backgrounds up considerably.
As mentioned in the review for Speechless, Mumy should be engineered by sharper more seasoned ears, as his work deserves it. Nonetheless, there's a generous quantity of sod and wheatstraw, dust and noonday sun, grasshoppers and fencelines in his songs, as The Next Big Thing, my favorite cut, amply demonstrates, a track that easily could have come off one of JP Jones' entrancing discs. No idea whether this is formative—that is, whether Mumy has released discs in past years or not (no promo lit sent, and I'm too damn lazy to cyber-hunt today)—but it hardly matters. It's an interesting demonstration of what occurs just before the talented amateur steps into the bullpen to duel it out with those he's now ready to draw down on.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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