The Sinnin' Man (The Acoustic Sessions) arrived in my mailbox the other day. When I first heard of this impressive singer, I was told his name was Billy Ryan and then someone pointed out that I had it wrong, his name is really Billy Droze, well, as it turns out they were both right because when his album arrived, the cover says Billy Ryan Droze. The album is impressive. Droze wrote all ten tracks and there is a nice balance of pace with some good pickin' and some sweet vocal harmony.
As with most of the really good singers in country music, Droze has been brandied about Nashville for a few years and properly seasoned by high hopes and false starts. In 2006 he was signed to a deal by the RCA label but, as often happens, the promised deal never materialized. As he waited for his own singing career to take hold, he has established himself as a credible songwriter. His songs have been recorded by Shenandoah, Darryl Worley, Marty Raybon, and Billy Yates, to name a few.
Not surprisingly, Droze comes from a musical family. His father was a country singer who recognized his son's passion for music early on and encouraged him. As a teenager, he would walk for miles, carrying his guitar down the country roads of Alabama to play for any and all who would listen. His bio says he has developed a style that is “pure, soulful and true”. I would agree with that. He says his early passion for those good ole’ gospel songs, plus his love of bluegrass and traditional music are what have brought him to where he is today. And where he is today is a really good place; vocally and musically. If you haven't heard him, you should check him out.
The album kicks off with the title cut, Sinnin' Man. This track sets the pace for the rest of the album. Since this is an acoustic album, there isn't any waiting for the peddle steel to carry the melody onto the bridge, nope, no background singers carrying the lead until the chorus, nope, none of that... it's just all on Droze and his pickin' and singing ability. Luckily for us, and I guess for him too, he is good. Really good at both singing and pickin'.
I wasn't able to select a stand out track because I truly enjoyed the entire album. Normally when I'm reviewing an album, I just let it play until I hear a track that stands out from the rest but that didn't happen this time. I actually found myself really listening to every song. I enjoyed the lyrics as much as the melody on every track. I had to play it through several times to try to pick one song that I enjoyed more than another but each song had something unique. “I Can't Wait To See You Again”, the second track, and “Halfway Up To Heaven”, the tenth track both were in the running for my favorite track and then I remembered “When The Time Comes”, track number three. I really liked the rhythm and the instrumental riffs on that song.
But then “Burn Me Down”, track four, was really pretty, oh wait, I liked number nine, “I Walk In the Sunshine” too and number eight, “You”. I really liked the words but then track number seven, “When”, well it's a sweet, easy listening tune. But there is a really good lesson in the lyrics of track number six, “It Ain't Worth It” but track number five “All That's Left Of You And Me” is a really beautiful song. It's really sad, but beautiful. Dang, I think I just mentioned all ten songs. Well, like I said, I truly enjoyed the entire album.
Droze has a new video titled “My Blue World”, a song he wrote with Dave Norris. I don't think he'll be blue for long. Once folks hear this album, and the new video is circulated, the fans will be piling up on his sites, downloading him from Reverbnation, befriending him on Facebook, following him on Twitter, and most assuredly, tweeting his praises. In addition to all that songwriting talent, he is a really, really good singer, and a very handsome young man. Like his bio states, he has a style that is unique to him. Yep, I think we'll be hearing this name a lot more often in the future.