Bill Mallonee always delivers an unparalleled amount of genuinely solid music. The output is overwhelming sometimes to just try and keep up with. The thing that is striking is not just how many amazing songs he writes, but also how good they all are. Never an artist to waste words, Mallonee crafts his life on the road into the best alt country/folk music available today. He is a true artist, a poet and a voice of the dusty American trail. His ability and eloquence in capturing the life of the “everyday man” is a true gift, and he seamlessly weaves these stories into songs that most can relate to.
Beatitude captured me from the first song “Boxcar” – or “Bakersfield” depending on what download you have. The lyrics hit me on a personal level considering some rather bleak and desperate circumstances my wife and I are mired in, but the beauty and strength of the song shows that we are not alone. Consider these lyric:
“There’s so little we walk out with…and there’s so much that gets lost
seems to me it’s pretty easy to see…where all cut from the same cloth
you crawled into that boxcar…thinkin’ yer alone
let your eyes rest with a hallowed-ness on all those other souls…’’
That is where the strength of Beatitude lies: in the lyrics that speak on a personal level, but that still encompass the human experience as a whole. This album is a full band offering and an excellent addition to Mallonee’s already stellar canon of work. From the opening song of solidarity in hope, through the tender lines of the singular perspective of Rural Routes, and on through until the end, this is one of Mallonee’s finest moments. A challenging, yet, beautifully arranged scope of the hope and hopelessness in the journey that we all travel on in this life.
“In between the seams…of the requiems
I saw you in the sun
And God’s last Word…sweetest poem I’ve heard
In the warm fields where you now run
Like a cowboy song…sung out loud & long
forlorn in the night
God’s……grace….is an open space
and we were all bathed in light”… Cowboy Song