Ever Changing Minstrel Review
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I’ve found another gem from Tompkins Square Records, and it’s the rerelease of Ever Changing Minstrel by Bill Wilson.

The story goes that Wilson drove to Nashville, to the home of producer Bob Johnson. Johnson had producer Bob Dylan’s benchmark album, Blonde on Blonde. After listening to a few of Wilson’s songs and liking them, Johnson rounded up many of the musicians who appeared on Dylan’s album and got them in the studio with Wilson; the result is the 1973 album Ever Changing Minstrel.

If you’re looking for a bright, sunshiny-day type of lyrics, you won’t find them on this record. The album could be considered an early form of “outlaw country.” It’s sparse, dark, and moody, carrying messages. Think of Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska as a comparison—only, instead of Bruce’s New Jersey upbringing, transplant him to America’s Midwestern heartland, and that’s the feel of Wilson’s Minstrel.

  
 
The CD contains eleven tracks. The second track, “Pay Day Give Away,” has some brilliant slide guitar playing, reminiscent of the late Duane Allman. Men, if you’ve been looking for words to describe that beautiful woman in your life who’s now gone, “Long Gone Lady,” track number six, eloquently and hauntingly paints such a vivid picture in one’s mind. We all dread Monday mornings (or at least most of us do!), and Wilson takes those internal feelings and painfully pulls them out in “Monday Morning Strangers.”

Wilson had so much more to give, but he had only released three records by the time of his passing in 1993. He truly was an individual who was determined to overpower an audience rather than seduce them. He didn’t care if you personally liked him or not; it was his music that mattered most. What will matter to you, meanwhile, is whether you should buy this CD. We all have those days when we seem to want to find some hole to crawl in and let our mind wander into those not-so-nice places. If you need some accompanying music, buy this CD.

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