Bing's music has drawn comparisons to the Smiths, Roy Orbison, Lloyd Cole, Neil Young and the Byrds. Once being boldly proclaimed as: "Belle & Sebastian, meets Dylan."
Bingham Willoughby decided to take full responsibility for his new solo CD, so he left the big city of Toronto and moved to the country where living is easy, and began work on Maybe Not Today, Maybe Tomorrow. An impressive collection of songs,Bing played all the instruments as well as producing, engineering and even the CD artwork. He is related to the poet Richard Lovelace, a seventeenth century Cavalier and metaphysical poet.
"Sweet Talk", the opening track will be the next Lou Reed hit if he gets to it first. The tracks are adventurous, brutally unleashing a lot of backed-up self-examination that comes across as playful rather than self indulgent. I like the drumming and I am a harsh critic of beating on plastic with trees by nature.
"Evil Words", "My Swan Song", "Little Cloud", "And Happiness", "Fall Now" and "Hurry Up Comfort", all showcase Bing's voice as an instrument suited to his writing which may very well be the most divisive component of his music. "When You're Up You're Up", "Amber", and "Friends", is so clearly Bing, providing such a specific kind of pleasure, that it might as well come with a trademark symbol attached to each line.
"What If You'd Chosen Me?", "The North Light" and "Some Will Build" are some of my personal favorite tracks; exceedingly diverse: moodwise. It is alternately, romantic, personal, rocking, and epic, with each mood individually represented by its own melodic approach, lyrical imagery, and vocal delivery. "When Is Long Enough" and "It Happened By Chance" are equally involving and intriguing with poetic imagery that brings to mind Dylan in his many diverse and always creative early stages.
The guitar work and production is reminisent of JJ Cale and Neil Young on several songs in this new batch, and since few artists have made such a virtue out of minimal arrangements, Bing is sitting pretty. Cale is all about less is more, too. Cale's only advice to me when I joined up with him was, the licks I didn't play would be the best licks I would ever play for him.
"After The World" is the closing track. Honest, inspired and the emotional climax of Maybe Not Today, Maybe Tomorrow. Bing has a great beginning with this groundbreaking work. And I can tell you he has a great sense of humor and is passionate about his craft and it shows. I am a fan and give this CD a 5 drumsticks up! A truly gifted Canadian songwriter and my new golf partner. That's only if either of us ever learn to play. FORE!
Gary Allen (The Charlie Daniels Band/JJ Cale/Stonewall Jackson)
"The mere fact that people have compared me, to artists who I consider to be rock-poets--I just find humbling. Being told your guitar playing reminds someone of Johnny Marr or your lyrics make them think of Dylan--that makes all the hard work you put into the writing and recording, really worthwhile. The goal of every single person who makes a record is, for it to hit people on an emotional level, and when you're presented with evidence that you've succeeded--it's just very gratifying."
The story of Maybe Not Today, Maybe Tomorrow, is a bit like one of Bingham's songs, in that it definitely was a discernible journey; from his tenure as a rock player, to the discovery of the challenges and rewards of acoustic performance. When he started singing his songs, whilst self-accompanying, it opened the door to a process that was finally, fully realized in Maybe Not Today, Maybe Tomorrow. And after several beginnings, Bing, finally ended up making it truly a solo enterprise. He produced, engineered, arranged and played all the instruments on the album. This was not so much a plan, as the aforementioned evolution. He knew that, for the full distillation of this particular vision, his only avenue was to do everything himself.
"It might sound a little strange, but I felt that every aspect of this record, had to be my responsibility. That's not to say that I don't respect the playing of other people, because I do, but for some reason, on an emotional level--I needed to say: everything you hear--I did. It made for a more complicated process, but I knew that when I was done, I could stand back and say: at this particular time, this is the mark I have chosen to leave."
Bing's personal stamp is evident, in every aspect of Maybe Not Today, Maybe Tomorrow, from the chiming guitars, to the subtle brushwork and the atmospheric keys. You can tell it's the undiluted vision of one very creative person.
Maybe Not Today, Maybe Tomorrow, evokes memories of musical sounds from the past, from the warm, enveloping bass guitar to the otherworldly, bell-like tones of the Rhodes piano. When combined, with the sound of his finger style acoustic, the production echoes a lot of great retro touchstones, while reworking them all into what can only be described as a modern sensibility. When all this is fused to Bingham's, at times, literate, lyrical preoccupations, the end result provides the listener with a thought-provoking and evocative musical experience. Some have equated listening to Bing's songs, as feeling like they are being told secrets. The secret being told is, that there is music and poetry dwelling, in our everyday experience.
"I strive in my lyric writing, to achieve a 'conversational' tone, because I think what's valuable and meaningful, comes from what happens between people in these; their unguarded moments. I think of my songs as a dialogue between myself and the listener, I'm trying to present some of my unguarded moments and communicate through them. I place the utmost value in what the listener interprets the songs to mean. I don't feel that anything poetic, ever has an absolute concrete meaning. I really feel that people's impressions can, and often will--alter over time, and if something resonates--it will transform. I want the listener to arrive at their own conclusions, and I place the greatest value on what people evoke for themselves. I get a thrill from finding out what people take from my songs. At times I've been so surprised and delighted at what someone has taken from a song it transforms me a little. I'm just telling some stories. Not every story needs a ending."
For more information, please visit Bing's site at: www.binghamwilloughby.com
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