Billyblues kicks off Whimsy series, preps for CD release


"Third Shot," the third CD from local Appalachian-blues band Billyblues, has been a while in coming. Production was halted last year when resonator guitarist/vocalist Mark Lucas had to have surgery for an old football injury.

Now, the band - which also includes Mike Norris on harmonica, guitar and vocals and Colin Raiteire on bass, mandolin and vocals - is ready for the CD's release later this month and it is "gearing up on playing for live audiences," Lucas says. Billyblues kicks off the 2004 Whimsy in Weisiger series Thursday with a two-hour concert.

"We've been practicing six weeks now, to support the CD," Lucas notes. "(The concert) is a foretaste of the CD."

The group has worked with local musician John Missik, who provided percussion for some of the tracks.

The group is "shifting from writing and recording to performance," Norris says.

"We feel very good about this CD. We're doing everything we can to support it."


"Supporting" includes gigs on Nick Lawrence's "Curtains at 8" on 91.3 FM and "Americana Crossroads" out of Morehead. A CD release concert will be held at Natasha's Cafe in Lexington during the summer, and Billyblues will perform at The Warehouse at Centre, Blues on Tap in Lebanon and Cheapside in Lexington to promote "Third Shot."

New CD is "more performance-oriented"

Norris says this third CD is "more performance-oriented music."

"It's very accessible, with harmonica and harmony vocals," he adds. "The songs fall into three categories: bluegrass, or bluegrassy tunes with a blues feel; covers of classic blues; and Billyblues originals - they way we do it.

"There's no set of Cliffs Notes necessary to understand the lyrics. There are no asterisks and very few semi-colons."

The theme of most of the songs is "romance and all its permutations," Norris explains.


"It just turned out that way," he says.

Adds Lucas, "The most heartfelt love song is the ode to bourbon."

Presumably, the ode is the track titled "Water, Wood, and Corn."

First two CDs continue to find new audiences

The band is pleased the first two CDs continue to find new audiences.

"The first two CDs are getting airplay in Slovenia," says Raitiere. "And a blues radio station in Argentina is waiting for the new CD."

A fourth CD is planned. The songs aren't quite set yet, nor is a theme.

"Maybe 'the older you get, the more the answers go away,'" Lucas muses.

Adds Norris, "Probably like the ones on this CD, only more so."

Says Lucas, "Or 'if you come to a fork in the road, take it.'"

Norris says the band is back into live performance right now and looking for gigs.

On the Net:

Central Kentucky News Articles