This album is the journey of a soulful and spiritual group of musicians led by Bill Acuña. It compiles a group of songs written between 2001 and 2011.
After the orchestra warms up, the album starts with the protest-minded rocker of “Release the Hounds,” introducing Tammy Masau to the world with her powerful vocals. This song was written as a satirical commentary to the empirical nature of modern America. It transitions into the cool beat and global vibes where Brazil beats meet Indian strings in the song “The City and Sea.” Co-written by samba artist, Sergio Pires, this song defines the modern “saudade” of the North American (specifically the colder North) who endures long winters and dreams of a better life. Add poetry by Dakota Rhodes.
“Three Seconds” is soul pop equally inspired by Stax as by A Prayer for Owen Meany. Meant to be played at 45rpm, it features the virtuosity of Eric Norman of The JoyRyders on lead vocals and lead guitar. “Fool” follows with its delightful three-part harmony provided by Tammy Masau. Then the album makes a short trip to León, Spain, with the song “La Leyenda de Billy Tolín,” which gives a nod to the fun and folly of La Tuna and the Barrio Húmedo. It is sung con gusto by Taran de Pablos of the band, SkinWalker.
Side 2 starts with a bang and a crash and Tammy trying to “Catch My Breath;” a song of forgiveness and an answer to Sergio’s “The City and Sea.” Shayne Moore co-wrote the next song, “Baby Boy,” inspired an unique soul named Oliver who wasn’t even born when the song was recorded.
“Mirror Me,” the next song, is an apology in the country tradition. It features Andrew Farah, the lead singer of The JoyRyders, and Christina Meadowcroft, the lead singer of Deaf Tom Crow. Mike Nesbitt of The Visitor provides the vocals for the Old Testament-inspired “Babylon,” which blends into the album’s final track “Our Last Chance.” Shayne Moore sings again on this duet with Bill Acuña. This final track is a song of nostalgia and of crickets and of rusty swings.
James Scott of Populist Recording deserves to be mentioned. His first-class engineering and production made this album possible. Whatever sound that Bill Acuña could think of, James knew how to re-create it instinctively. Finally, Pete Drever and Brian Doherty, of Deaf Tom Crow, deserve an additional recognition for providing the backbone of this album by playing bass and drums, respectively, on almost all of the tracks.