Jonathan Warren and the Billygoats

Have you ever heard the term “work hard, play hard?”

Ever thought that’s a bunch of crap?

Let’s be honest, by the time you’re done working your butt off you’d probably rather wander into a dimly lit watering hole for a glass of brown liquor of choice and escape than go out for some Bear Grylls expedition into the Yukon.

Well for those of us who don’t consider sitting in a cushy leather chair while setting the lineup for our fantasy football (“work hard”) before heading off to our yacht for the weekend (“play hard”), we have Jonathan Warren and the Billygoats.

The Progressive PsychoBilly Folk Grass wanderers are back. This time, the Boise Stomp Boys brought with them Bless My Soul.

In what I can only see as the most complete cover-to-cover success the Goats have accomplished to-date, their latest release grabs the hammer, nails, boards, and bottle and builds the saloon to wash away your stresses. Almost immediately, tracks like “Quite Like You Lady,” “Rest My Head,” and “Maleena” become familiar as they settle warmly into your head. These, like the rest of the tracks, will nestle tightly with their acoustic guitar, rocking melodies, stomping beats, and harmonious drifting into the recesses of your mind only to rear their head later as you’re humming them walking down the street.

As with everything else they’ve released, I can reach my hand in this bag and pull out several favorite new tracks. “Cold Sweat” balances the gritty, rolling sound of the Goats with a little honky-tonk electric that gets the pulse racing. “Concrete” embodies the songwriting brilliance I’ve come to love from these guys with the textured presence that lives in the woodwork of many western bars. And then the hauntingly attractive “Be There For Me” snags your attention and draws you in, only to hand deliver delicious blues guitar mid-way.

Jonathan Warren and the Billygoats work hard and play hard all at the same time. Captivatingly candid, while rooted in folk tales, Bless My Soul is a welcoming, whiskey worn, barstool to rest upon after a long day of hard work. I can’t get enough JW&BG, and Bless My Soul doesn’t let me down.

So “Stop all your hoping and climb aboard” – J. Warren and the Billygoats “Down The Lion”


Greg is a co-founder and regular contributor of Nanobot Rock. He works hard, but then again he thinks life is only as fun as you make it…yeah, he “works” hard.