Sunday, March 28, 2010

Review -- BILLY JOE GREEN -- First Law of the Land: If Broken Return To Maker

Billy Joe Green
Strongfront Records

If you want your blues with a jagged-edged feel, laden with lyrics that tell both a story, and carry some pretty ugly, but sadly true stories, than Billy Joe Green’s latest First Law of the Land is a must disk.
Green is a First Nations bluesman out of Manitoba who brings all the tools to the table. He plays darned fine electric guitar, and he has a ‘bluesy, smokey voice which carries his music well. Now that combination would work to play any blues cover, and do it well.
However, this disk really has nothing to do with Green’s voice, or his guitar work.
This is a CD where Green set out to tell the history of his people, with a First Nation’s viewpoint.
That effort has resulted is some very stark lyrics.
Right from the opening P.O.W. Blues to cuts such as Los Sin Dios (those without god) to Muskrat Blues and Nightmare Blues, Green tells his people’s story focusing on the injustices he has seen.
Set against the basic tenants of blues music, and its ability to illicit emotion, this CD becomes a very powerful recording.
Radio airplay will be hard to find, but that isn’t what this CD is about. This is about telling a history that is from a perspective that is not usually in the popular history books.
Some may question what they hear, but honestly that is what Green is hoping for. He wants people to think about what Aboriginal people have faced through the years.
This is as powerful a group of songs lyrically as you are likely to find on a CD.
The content will not be for everyone, although maybe we should all listen at least once just to hear the words.
Check it out at

-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Feb 24, 2010 - Yorkton, SK. Canada

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