Bill Godfrey: Hypnotized
(Independent / Sept 8 2023)
Multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter Bill Godfrey's Hypnotized is an album with a kind of story to tell.
"Hypnotized is a coming-of-age exploration of a young mind that seeks identity and love, but struggles to break free from outside influence and control. Each track explores a means of influence over the mind, by way of fear, grief, co-dependence, substances, dogma, or even malice."
His style blends elements of traditional folk and bluegrass, and a poetic sense of storytelling, with a bit of a jazzy edge. Occasionally, he throws orchestration and electronics bits into the mix. It creates an interesting sound that nods to retro jazz and pop, but with a sense of invention that's definitely contemporary.
The themes of obsession and influence run through the lyrics of all the songs. On Hypnotized, the title track, it's a romantic obsession, while on Sprightly Gentleman, it's about the cookie cutter influence of school on kids - and how it can be broken.As a singer, he's a versatile tenor who reminds occasionally of Paul Simon. Mama Help Me is a standout track that veers from dancey melodic sections to a heartfelt plea. Patiently has a slow and sexy groove that drives a story about waiting for love.
Bill grew up in rural Texas and started playing music at a young age.
"The Kerrville Folk Festival was a big part of my early exposure to playing and singing. It’s a 3 week long camp out in which friends bring instruments and play music together. Only acoustic instruments are allowed. I learned a ton of songs and was exposed to artists like Townes Van Zandt, Rodney Crowell, Guy Clark, Blaze Foley, James Taylor, Carol King and John Prine."
Fans of singer-songwriters who break from the mould will love this release.
Personnel: Bill Godfrey - All instrumental performances except: Ray Zepeda - Saxophone solo on Sprightly Gentleman; Dani Poppit - Backing vocals on Patiently; Marshall Gallagher - electric guitar solo on Mama Help Me