An accomplished musician, Adam Hill has played many different genres of music and has played bass with a number of different bands. He is also a contemporary composer and not someone who dwells on his past music as he takes the folk/roots path on this acoustic-based album.
In the way that many traditional songs are transformed by being passed down in live performance, Hill has re-imagined these songs by adding some new lyrics and melodic changes. Like the album cover photograph, which could be seen as an abstract landscape but is in fact rusted metal, Hill has taken something old and seen it in a new light. When people gather to play, they often sing a half-remembered version of a classic with some made up lyrics and different chords. This is a similar process except here Hill has gone about (re)arranging these songs with a more considered approach. The album sleeve notes that these songs began as “everyone’s” but were remade by Hill.The songs, many familiar, include The Cuckoo, Cindy, Three Hundred Miles, Rye Whiskey, Down By the Riverside and Goodbye Old Paint.
Given his skills, the assumption is that Hill plays all the instruments on the album as there is no one else credited other than vocalist Stephanie Lines. And Hill is a vocalist capable of giving these songs the focus they need to work. The arrangements have enough layers to make them worthy of repeated listening. Hill has been inventive in how he approaches the sound. In one case he ‘deconstructed’ a guitar to create the sound of a dulcimer using chopsticks and paper clips.
Hill has a sensitivity that understands the source material and makes it contemporary, rather than simply replaying it. This then is a fresh coat of paint on venerable structures and a really enjoyable experience for roots music fans everywhere.