Bill Hickman and Billybones
If the smokier, darker edge of alt-country is where you like to dwell, and you partake of Wellington’s live music scene, you’ve probably heard of Bill Hickman. If not it’s time that you did. Appearing under his own steam for the first time at the Mussel Inn (Jan 20th) audiences can expect a gutsy, hard hitting gig, all about Bill’s great tunes, strong gravel dragged voice and country inflected acoustic guitar. You’ll know doubt hear tunes from his 2010 EP Ghost of Smoke:
‘Over the space of just five songs he shows us what makes genuinely great roots music so utterly compelling’. (C.Haze, Spoke Magazine)
…and plenty that are in the pipeline for his upcoming 2018 album.
Bill Hickman has a voice that has you coming back for more, like a great shot of coffee it’s rich, dark, smokey and sexy as hell. Having sung over many a noisy bar he can belt it out with the best of them but he can equally deliver an achingly beautiful ballad.
Fans of Warren Zevon, Johnny Cash and Hank Williams will hear touchstones in his songwriting and selected covers but if there's a story worth telling then Bill is not one to be limited by genres or outfits. He’ll deliver Lyle Lovett’s beautiful ‘If I had a boat’ and Fred Eaglesmith’s hard-hitting ’49 Tons’ with equal weight and impact.
Don’t be fooled into thinking this will be an evening of quiet melancholy, Bill’s ‘primarily acoustic approach is gutsy too’, this man has done his time ‘ yelling with bands’ and knows how and when to kick it up a gear.
His side men of choice in January are Kyle Mosely (Royal, Jacky Tar), Hamish Graham (The Shot Band), Dusty Burnell (Frank Burkett band, Kim & Dusty) and Nick Swan (Jacky Tar), collectively ‘Billy Bones’. Expect great bvs, wild solos and a solid driving band.
Bill Hickman is a long serving stalwart of NZ stages and bars, having played in bands (Billy Bones, The Shot Band, King Lazy and Parcel of Rogues) and as a soloist all over the country and further abroad. Over the years he has opened for a wide diversity of acts from metal's Pantera to alt country royalty Gillian Welch and David Rawlings’ on their debut tour of NZ:
‘Bill had the unenviable task of playing to an audience desperate to hear the headliner, but over the course of three sold out nights he got up and stunned not only the audience but also the main act themselves’. (C.Haze, Spoke Magazine)
‘Bill Hickman is a magical craftsman of songs. He will leave you spellbound. A must see.’ (C. O’Shea, Americana Show, Radio Active)
For a shot of acoustic roots with guts, gravel and smoke come down to the Mussel Inn 20th Jan. Bill Hickman and Billy Bones: out of the smoke, still burning.