Hillbilly Water starts with an uplifting and traditionally-oriented bluegrass song called Rose-A-Lee. The banjo is cheerfully omnipresent and the song flows nicely. This is the ultimate music when you’re in a cosy bar with a good cold beer in your hands. And why change a winning formula? With Riffs on A they continue down the same path, with a little more tempo and a lot less singing (since the song is completely instrumental). While it’s cool for a little bit, this music goes better with singing on a CD, but live this would be a great way to end the set.
The gritty country song Waiting ‘Round To Die (originally by Townes Van Zandt) has that cool western outlaw sound, if you know what I mean. It’s not the band’s most uplifting song, but it shows their diversity within the genre and with the strong performance they make the story of the song come alive before your eyes.
They follow this up with another uplifting and wonderful bluegrass song called I’m Gonna Love You. A song that dates back to the mid-eighties (originally performed & penned by Peter Rowan). The upbeat tempo and the distinct interaction between music and lyrics. Country & Western as a greater genre has always been one of the purer forms of music and Hillbilly Water proves this again. Hillbilly Water follows with another all-instrumental, and while I am usually not a fan of all-instrumentals on a CD (unless it’s an instrumental band/album), this one actually really pleases me. Shenandoah Drive lets my thoughts wander off to many different places and bring back memories. It’s one of those things music can do to you, especially music that you connect with, and Shenandoah Drive has the ability to connect with its listener on a level deeper than you realize at first.
Another excellent pub-song with nice vocal harmonies follows. Don’t Say is the ultimate country-sing along on this album and is a definite mood-lifter as you just can’t help but get involved with the song. This band has a talent of using the music to play into the emotions of the listener.
Next up is Mitch Jayne’s Old Home Place which has been performed by several other bands before, but out of the versions I heard, Hillbilly Water’s is probably my favorite. They use the song’s own sentiment to lift it to a more personal level which makes the music come out even better and does justice to the songs original arrangement. We then arrive to the album’s closer, Come Hither To Go Yonder. You can’t really think of a song title that speaks country & western more than that. And the band takes full advantage of their talents to end this record spectacularly. They showcase their musical talents and give us something to be very pleased with. This is a version of the song that would make even Bill Monroe & His Bluegrass Boys (original performers) go wild.
All in all I can say that the music played by Hillbilly Water puts me in a better mood. The cheerful banjo and the enthusiasm in this pure and honest music, with traditional arrangements and country roots just makes me wanna hop on my stallion and ride to the nearest saloon to hang out with a cold beer and Hillbilly Water providing the music.