Billylee Janey never ceases to impress me. No Saints Ringin’ The Bells, his fifteenth release, is innovative, psychedelic, and, at times, reminiscent of his Truth & Janey days. The album is composed of fifteen original songs, a haunting cover of Russian folk song, “Dark Eyes,” and a mini-version of Edvard Grieg’s “In the Hall of the Mountain King.”
There’s this funky little song called “Broken Arrow” that Janey fills with lots of great unexpected aural treats. This one brings a smile to my face every time. And before that smile can even reset, “Lord of the Strings,” an amazing instrumental, kicks in, fusing surf rock and blues together for an amazing listen. It’s sheer back-to-back pleasure.
Janey breaks out his axe and throws down some great delta blues groove on “Delta Man.” It is a composite of legendary Mississippi bluesmen such as Son House, who continues “singing the blues,” “singing the truth,” and “living the life of Hell.” This favorite features his son, Bryce Janey, on acoustic guitar. “Sweet Seventeen,” another track featuring Bryce Janey on acoustic, is a stand-out song as well. This is a beautifully sad, heartfelt song. It has such a lovely melody that I keep going back for repeated listens.
As the title implies, the saints aren’t ringing the bells, because maybe they’re all off playing guitar. That’s just a gut feeling. This one is highly recommended for those who like their blues plugged in.
By Phillip Smith (a contributing writer at BluesWax)
Link to article: http://bluesrevue.com/2011/11/billylee-janey-no-saints-ringin-the-bells-11-04-11/#