Bill Perry
Greycourt Lightning
Pointblank 7243 8 45515 2 0

Guitarist/vocalist Bill Perry plays heaps of blues-rock guitar in a style that reflects the influence of B.B. King, Albert King, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan and others. Greycourt Lightning is a well-produced showcase for those skills. It also includes a sampling of Perry’s acoustic Delta-styled blues playing.

Each song offers a decidedly different color from Perry’s six-string pallet. "In Pain" is a soulful number on which he uses a crisp, out-of-phase guitar tone. "About Me (Why I Got the Blues)" features a wah-wah laden solo. "The Other Night" finds Perry playing tasteful electric slide over a syncopated New Orleans groove. "Sneaking Around" is the requisite slow blues guitar extravaganza which Perry handles capably and with some measure of restraint. The title cut is a B.B.-styled swing. "Trust in You" and "Evil Woman" find Perry in an acoustic country blues setting.

Clearly, this man is a versatile and accomplished guitarist, but you don’t have to be a guitar nut to enjoy this. Ultimately, the elements that make Greycourt Lightning successful are (1) Perry’s voice, which is husky if somewhat limited, but always easy on the ear, (2) a collection of songs — 11 of the 13 penned by Perry — that (with one or two exceptions) stands up to repeated plays, and (3) an instrumental line-up that includes piano, Hammond B-3 organ and a three-piece horn section. Clearly, someone in Perry’s camp or at Pointblank knew the benefit of having other instrumentation to counterbalance Perry’s frenetic guitar action. It makes a difference.

— Bryan Powell

This page and all contents are © 1998 by Blues Access,
Boulder, CO, USA.