Billy Crain – Skeletons in the Closet


Southern rock this may not qualify as, but enjoyment is another word to call it. This solo effort by Billy Crain just adds to the quality catalogue of material he has amassed over the years. But more important, it is his stamp on the music scene of today. A well known figure of the southern rock scene with his contributions to The Outlaws, among other things, there is no doubt there is more to Billy Crain than just a southern rocker.

Skeletons in the Closet pushes the southern rock genre to the edge of change, forcing many people to redefine their musical taste. Vocal harmonies, blending with the underlying southern rock grooves, mixed with pop vocals and you have a sound that is unique to Billy Crain.

Rise Up, the first track on the CD is a blend of vocal harmonies ala Poco or the Eagles. Very pop (classic rock) vocal styling that has character and depth which flows over the CD like a well worn shirt. The track Muddy Waters has all the typical southern rock sounds until the vocals begin and then its hails back to a Johnny Rivers style pop sound with a rocking, wailing guitar. I can imagine that many fans of older styles, that is not too heavy but plenty rocking, will enjoy this album.

Melodies abound in the fabric of Skeletons in the Closet, real music is made is in the heart of the melodies and these melodies are as real as it gets.  The vocal harmonies stroke the sounds of classic rock, the southern rock grooves find old familiar ground, the fires still burn in the guitars and the rhythms still travel familiar roads that we have all ridden down, the vocal melodies twist and turn the page on what was into what is the Billy Cain sound. Cracks shows the depth of Billy Cain and it is as solid as it gets, there are no cracks in this excellent CD, wish I had it on vinyl. Damn.

Review by Vernon Tart