Jan 052014

Billy Youngblood is a very busy individual, indeed. Aside from being an incredibly talented guitarist and singer, Mr Youngblood has his own indie record label called Smokin Gorillas Records. Billy mostly does acoustic shows these days, but also does the full rock band thing when the time is right. Billy has quite the resume, having played with Louisville breakout stars Days Of The New and short stints with Tantric and Modern Superstar. Billy currently resides in Fort Wayne, Indiana but loves Louisville and plays here when ever he can. I’m so glad Terry Harper turned me on to this guy, because not only is Billy a ridiculously good guitar player, but he is one great guy as well, and I think a lot of Louisville musicians could learn a lot from a guy with his experience. Billy is seriously thinking of moving to Louisville soon, and I hope he does. We need more people like Billy in this town. “Too Much Pain To Cry” is an odd acoustic rocker of a tune. There is some kind of stringed orchestra instrument playing with the acoustic guitar that sounds really cool. The acoustic tone is awesome. This reminds me a lot of Days Of The New. Billy’s voice is one of confidence and classic influence. He has a great classic singing voice that mixes well with the laid back guitar vibe. This kind of reminds me of Hendrix a bit too. Neil Young meets Hendrix! This is some good stuff. Acoustic rock with a serious classic rock vibe. Very nice alternate picking technique. I would have liked to have heard more effect on Billy’s voice in this recording, though, it’s a bit oo dry for my taste. Other than that it, sounds really good. I bet Billy knows every guitar chord in existence. He puts off that kind of vibe. A guy that knows guitar like the back of his hand, and probably knows more about guitar than any 100 average guitarists, including me! It’s very good songwriting, lyrically and musically. “No Romeo” is the song that was released in Europe last year through an European distribution deal, and later released in the USA through a deal with Viacom Media (MTV). This song is different. I love the lead guitar work Billy does. Sounds excellent. It’s hard to describe the music in this song. It’s jazzy, funky, energetic and original. Santana meets Eric Johnson! Clean guitars, jazzy leads, and funky clean rthythms, this song has it all. Heck, it even has a South American feel about it a little. The sound quality of the recording is good. I’m not even sure what category of music this would be in! It’s rock, but a different sort of rock. Hard to catagorize. I’ve been scrolling through a few of Billy’s songs and dude is very good on guitar. His leads shred! He does covers as well. I was checking out a cover of Zeppelin’s “No Quarter” live and his leads were killing. He did a cover of Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady” and his vocals sound like Jimmy. A killer cover! This really sounds good! 2014 should be a good year for The Smokin Gorillas, especially if these distribution deals Billy made pan out the way they should.

Lately though, Billy has used his music to spread a far more important message. Billy’s son David has been the target of bullying and the authorities have done nothing about it, so billy has launched a campaign against bullying through his music. It’s a touching story and no child should be bullied, especially one with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), like his son David has. I myself was bullied a lot growing up and it is not a cool thing to live in fear. It only stopped for me when I took Tae Kwon Do and started cracking ribs with kicks. Alas, violence is not the answer these days, so I hope Billy can make some headway battling this situation with his music and music connections. Check out Billy and his son’s story. http://thejunglevine.wordpress.com/

I’m going to try to bring Billy back down here in a few months so you mofos can get a taste of the Smokin Gorillas in action once again. Until then, check out Billy’s unreal playing online at http: //www.reverbnation.com/smokingorillas/songs