Review: Billy The Kid & The Regulators – I Can’t Change

Posted on: Sunday, Aug 23, 2015

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Billy The Kid & The Regulators – I Can’t Change

(Own label)

I recall reading, many years ago, an article somewhere that talked about just how some of the roadhouse rock and blues club outfits in the States play at such a high level that it is difficult for us Europeans to fully understand it.

That statement popped into my head on hearing this CD from this six-piece Pittsburgh group led by singer and guitarist Billy Evanochko, augmented by a three-piece horn section on a trio of tracks, harmonica ace Jason Ricci on half of the ten numbers, impressive Columbus, Ohio guitarist Sean Carney on one track, and a couple of other guests, including the excellent backing singer Yolanda Barber.

This band came third in the International Blues Challenge in 2014, I’m surprised they were able to find two combos better than them! This is generally a high energy blues set, with some excellent original numbers sharing space with fine versions of songs from Jimmy Reed, Robert Johnson (whose ‘Me And The Devil’ is given an impressive acoustic rendition to close out the set), Little Walter – with ‘Who’ – and the Albert King-ish ‘Slender Man Blues’ written by the under-rated St. Louis born bluesman Dave McKenzie.

Throughout, Billy’s vocals are among the best I have heard recently, and the band match him musically.

One of those very rare sets that should satisfy both those looking for a fairly straight-forward blues set and the blues-rockers too. Let’s hope the CD title is true because more like this is certainly more than welcome!

NORMAN DARWEN

www.billythekidandtheregulators.com

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