BILL MADISON – If I Had The Time (own label)

Bill MadisonUnlike his last release, the latest offering from the deep and dusty voiced New England singer-songwriter, his thirteenth, is, save for one number, all self-penned, either solo or in collaboration, Bill playing guitars, dobro, dulcimer and synth with contribution on drums and lead guitar from John Dudli and JP Kallio on just one track, the muscular, martial beat ‘When I Think Of Her’, co-written with his wife of many years, Nancy.

She also happens to be subject of both the title track love song, which, featuring bluesy dobro, opens the album and the melodically tumbling ‘Can’t Stay Away’ (which she herself-co-wrote), conjuring thoughts of both Tom Paxton and Stan Rogers as he celebrates their marriage and family.

The pair have one further co-write in the bluesy closing track. ‘That’s All Right With Me’, a song in praise of an honest day’s work written after setting up their landscaping business back in 1995.

The family also extends to the grandchildren, who get their own dedication with the jaunty Guthrie-esque old time folk blues ‘Doin’ Fine’, while the ringingly fingerpicked ‘Old Tockwotton’ is an ode to the Madison family’s ancestral farm and the generations that worked the land.

As on the last album, Scott Roby gets two co-write credits, the bluesy ‘Chasin’ After You’, about a thankless 45 year courtship, and ‘As Time Passes By’, a gentle celebration of two lovers growing old together, while the sole cover comes with Michael Sirois’ ‘You’re The Only One’, Dianna Zupan on backing vocals for what he describes as being a song about reliving teenage angst.

The remaining two track are both Madison originals, the lengthy ‘Look Homeward’ calling on his cowboy influences for a last round-up number as well as breaking out the dobro for another solo, and ‘The Wurlitzer Song’, a wistful nod to the country tradition of playing out lost love heartaches on the honky-tonk jukebox.

Seasoned and traditionally rooted, as before, there’s no concession to contemporary Americana trends, just the sound of man playing the music he loves for the people he loves. You could be one of them.

Mike Davies

Artist’s website:

‘If I Had The Time’: