Michael Hill – Black Gold & Goddesses Bold! — JSP Records

by | Aug 29, 2005 | SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews | 0 comments

Michael Hill – Black Gold & Goddesses Bold! — JSP Records JSP5109 Multichannel SACD ***:  

Hill’s music is not quite the blues as there is a lot of rock
influence, but the storytelling aspect of the blues is here in
spades.  It’s clear that Hill doesn’t approve of our President and
takes us through a few songs about hypocrisy and downright lying to the
people.  He tackles the troubles of the war in Iraq and rather
than just sing on these tracks, he’ll often preach to the listener by
spoken word.  Don’t think there isn’t a positive side to this
record, though.  In his own words, “[One of the things of great
importance] is celebration of some of the beauty that always persists
in life despite humankind’s foibles- love (including the kind between
folks of the same gender that seems to scare so many people),
sensuality, and women (goddesses), who are to me perhaps the most
beautiful of nature’s creations.”  

This is not a record to be taken lightly as it explores many serious
topics, but the music is gritty, full of life, and passionate. 
Track six has some soul influence and Hill is as strong a guitar player
as he is vocalist.  All the songs (save one which has a shared
credit with Bill McClellan) were written by Hill.  Folk used to be
the primary battleground for political messages, (and then rock, etc.)
but now you can put Michael Hill’s blues in that category as
well.  If the political messages and preachiness of the record are
not off-putting then this record will be enjoyable.  Recording
quality is similar to other blues discs from JSP—lots of high
frequencies (almost too much) and full bodied sound that has just a
little edge.  There is a good deal of surround information
including directed voice and instruments in back while the main vocals
are kept up front.  Songs included are:  Let The Ladies Have
The Floor; Black Gold; By George!; New York Doll; Specialization;
Afraid Of Love; Fear Itself; Mr. Hubert Sumlin; Bad Boy (Sleep With
Anger); Home I Love.

-Brian Bloom

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