Bill Mallonee & the Darkling Planes – Winnowing


I’ve been a big fan of Bill Mallonee’s music ever since Vigilantes of Love put out Killing Floor. I can’t remember exactly what song the college radio station played, it was either Motel Room or Anybody’s Guess, but I was hooked. I immediately picked up his previous releases and have been a fan ever since. It’s a rather remarkable thing I discovered recently on my birthday, I was 18 in 1992 when I discovered Mallonee, that means I’ve been listening for 22 years… for over half of my life I have found great comfort in his music and it has been a staple through many years and experiences.

His latest, Winnowing, is affecting in every sense. Mallonee’s ability to write through the eyes of the “everyday man” is so perfected and honest, and that makes it relatable and why I think it leaves such an impression. The songwriters gaze is a commentary, sometimes it’s focus is social and other times it focus is naked and introspective, but it is all about the journey that we all toil under. The heartache and the heartbreak, the struggle with being human, and yet he confesses these stories with a sense of redemption and the encouragement to embrace the experience of life.

Winnowing is a defining album in Mallonee’s 60+ catalogue. This is the real deal, the music sounds astonishing, and you can hear the dusty, road worn miles in Mallonee’s voice. For a singer/songwriter to release such a staggering amount of work that is so intuitive is a quite an accomplishment, and it is a pace that I have never seen anyone else establish.

I honestly feel that this is Bill’s best work to date, and it is a fitting thing that this will be his first release on vinyl. You can still get pre-orders, digital files and CD’s of not just Winnowing, but his catalogue of 60 or so records can be found at There is a link there to his bandcamp page, which right now he is offering a “buy one get one” for his entire discography. There is an entire world of music to discover for people who like great Americana music, if you like storytellers and enjoy the experience of music that evokes deep sentiment, check Bill Mallonee out. This latest offering Winnowing is an absolute must, it is Mallonee at his best.

About Steve Ruff

Music is what moves, motivates and inspires me.
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