Michael Hill's "Black Gold & Goddess Bold !" SA-CD, wanna hear protest music deluxe?

Discussion in 'Music' started by Rachael B, Sep 25, 2005.

  1. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    The first time I listened to this album I must'a been in a bad mood, dozin', or somethin' because I didn't pay it much mind. So, when I cued it up again, I was shocked! I loved it! The album has a goofy title which in a way well-represents the album's split personality. Black Gold is one of the album's rockin' protest songs, and Michael repeatedly refers to women as Goddesses in several of the non protest songs. So, it's kind of peculiar but accurate title, all in all.

    This album is marketed or listed as a blues genere work. The very idea that this is a blues album is absurd, well, let's say preposterous! This is a 100% rock album. There isn't even a hint of blues.

    The group is 3 pieces but not the usual three pieces. It's 2 guitars and drums. There's a guest harmonica player on one track and a 2 different guest guitarists on 2 other tracks. That's it. The group, with no bass player, has a light airy sound not greatly unlike, say, The White Stripes, in a way. On many of the 10 cuts you get two electric guitars with frequent bottleneck playing. Both Michael Hill and Colin John, the other guitarist, are credited for slide work. Hill is credited for all the acoustic guitar on several of the tunes. Bill McCellan's able drumming backs everything up.

    Well, I said this was was protest music deluxe. You wouldn't think that from the first cut Let The Ladies Have The Floor. This is a very Stones inspired rocker about the reluctance of some guys to ask the ladies to dance. It's Stone's like rhythm is flavoured with some hot slide and the guest hamonica of David Barnes. This good-times rock and roll cut does anything but prepare you for what's coming next.

    Next, you get Black Gold. The first of several poignant protest songs. Black Gold is, you quessed it, oil, Texas tea that is. Out of the left speaker (left rear in M/C) comes either Colin's or Bill's voice saying, "I say old boy where are all those confounded weapons of mass destruction". Then out of the right speaker (right rear in M/C), comes Michael's response, "hey, I don't know about that, but I did learn on the Beverly Hillbillies that oil is called black gold in Texas, that's right black gold". The singing lyrics then start and go on to say, "black gold, black gold, we can free people near and far, but their freedom won't start my car, it's 'bout the oil..." The Chorus goes like,"black gold, save our souls, we're slippin' down in a hole, save our souls". This song really speaks to America's oil addiction unlike any other I've ever heard! It's a rocker too.

    Third up is Michael's slam of the President, By George. If you're dissident to his adminestration, like me, you'll love this. If not, you'll hate it. I'll say no more.

    New York Doll takes the album back to rockin' for fun music. It has some very Hendrix-like dialogs sprinkled in amongst the regular lyrics. Hill is just in love with calling women goddesses. It works for me! I'd like that title!

    Later, we get back to more protest music wit Fear Itself which starts with an easy acoustic guitar part with some quiet electric guitar accenting it. It's a song about the politics of fear. I'll leave it at that.

    Bad Boy (Sleep With Anger) is a clever song about having your lady p'ed at you and proably sleeping on the couch instead of with her. The album's last song is Home I Love, yet another protest song about how badly Hill, who wrote all the songs, thinks the country is being run. Musically it's not so compelling but the lyrics are forceful and compelling.

    The album is really nice in stereo. The M/C mix gets a little crazy at times. The first song seems to be a 5 channel everything coming about equal from all 5 speakers. I kind'a like it but the vocals seem rather un-natural almost like there are 5 Michael Hills singing. Black Gold starts up in the rears with it's little dialog and then moves the singing to the front. The M/C mix is fairly aggressive "middle-of-the-band" thang and I rather enjoyed it. I really like the music mix but have some reservations about the vocals. They frequently bugged me a bit.

    With this album you get Hill's very Hendrix-esque vocals and two very entertainng guitars. You hardly realize that there's no bass player. Back in the 70's a protest record of this magnitude would of found it's way onto FM underground radio, undoubtedly. Now, well...who knows??? I think it's a winner from whatever angle that you look at it, unless you can't stand the BIG TIME putdowns of the current adminestration, By George! [​IMG] It's a winner for me and I hope to get a follow-up album sometime down the road! Michael Hill seems a somewhat gifted songwriter to me and I like his vocals... [​IMG]
     
  2. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    I played Black Gold and By George for my mom this evening. She said she'd heard a news report recently that claimed that George was furious over By George. Good!!!![​IMG]
     
  3. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Has no one any questions or comments? This is a seriously entertaining album on a couple of levels....
     

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