Billy The Kid & The Regulators, 'I Can't Change,' Self-Released (REVIEW)

By Mike Greenblatt on Aug 28, 2015 03:09 PM EDT
Billy 'The Kid' Evanochko Guitarist Billy 'The Kid' Evanochko drives 'em wild. (Photo : Courtesy Frank Roszak)

They're calling Billy "The Kid" Evanochko the most dangerous outlaw since the Wild West's Billy "The Kid" Bonney [1859-1881]. Of course, in this sense, they're talkin' about a musical outlaw, the blues equivalent of the Waylon 'n' Willie-led country outlaw brigade of the 1970s rebelling against Nashville conformity. They're also saying that Billy's the biggest thing to come out of Pittsburgh since NFL Hall of Famer Mean Joe Greene. Billy's smart. He got himself a hotshot producer in Damon Fowler to produce I Can't Change by Billy The Kid & The Regulators. Fowler is Florida's whiz kid Allmans-styled guitarist who's also in Southern Hospitality, a band you can't afford to miss if they come to your town. He's layered a wall of guitars atop a barn-burning rhythm section laced with a pumpin' horn section and floating vocal harmony. It all adds up to arguably the best CD of Billy's career and if you heard 2012's She Got A Hold On Me, you'll know that's saying something.

He can sting that guitar for all its worth and does so on stage in fits to swoon over. He'll get all Hendrixian yet will make his guitar cry like BB on the soft sad ones. Plus, he can write. Some of the highlights here include his own compositions like "Ain't Gotta Prove Nothing" or "What Are We Fighting For" and if you listen to a lot of blues CDs, you'll realize quick that the gems by most of the musicians working in this genre are mostly covers. Why the hell even write your own when there's a mammoth untapped reservoir of material hidden under the dustbin of time begging to be covered? To that end, Billy went fishin' and caught a few whoppers like Robert Johnson's 1938 "Me And The Devil" and Jimmy Reed's 1958 "Can't Stand To See You Go."

It all adds up to one of the more satisfying and raucus rock'n'rolling blues you're bound to hear by just staying home.

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TagsBilly the Kid, Billy The Kid & The Regulators, Damon Fowler, REVIEW

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