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CD Reviews: Bill Deasy

Bill Deasy: Good Day No Rain
May 2003
By Sara Zeno

album cover of Bill Deasy's Good Day No Rain


Bill Deasy is a man comfortable in his own voice and Good Day No Rain quickly feels as familiar and honest as an old friend. His easy, natural style explores folk, pop, rock, and even the nearly gospel strains of the final track. The narrative voice, flawed and questioning, explores the paradoxes between hope and despair, beauty and ugliness, bitter and sweet, mirroring our human uncertainty. Together we're "Troubled hearts/ All searching for an answer" (Who We Are).

Good Day No Rain combines Deasy's vocal and lyrical talents with lush arrangements and pristine production. His second solo album, it expands upon 2000's acoustic Spring Lies Waiting. Deasy was lead singer for The Gathering Field (a popular regional band who were together seven years and briefly signed to Atlantic Records), but with his solo recordings, he has both broken away from guitar-driven sound and has begun discovering a distinct introspective style.

Gregg Wattenberg (Five for Fighting, Dishwalla) produced four tracks in New York City with session musicians and these boast a rich sound. In particular, string arrangements bestow a delicious underlying texture to Blue Sky Grey and Who We Are, two of the album's strongest songs. Talented Pittsburgh musicians fill out the remainder of Good Day No Rain, including Liz Berlin (Rusted Root) and her ethereal backing vocals, which are included on The Gift of Seeing Through. Although a couple songs can feel slightly overwrought in spots, it's only a minor blip to the overall quality of the album.

Deasy's penchant for the tragic is nicely balanced with an upbeat mood and a healing sense of spirituality lies beneath Good Day No Rain. In the end, you get the satisfying sense that it's all going to end up okay--- hope still surrounds us, whether or not we can see it during bleak times. "History repeats itself/ Maybe not forever though. . . Why resist it?/ Love is at your side/ Even when you run and hide" (It's All Right Here). Perhaps the most timely theme contained here is acceptance: "Now I know/ You can't change somebody/ With your love no matter/ How right you are/ We are who we are/ And nothing more/ But nothing less" (Who We Are).

The journey of Good Day No Rain points to a versatile, evolving talent that will likely continue to finesse songwriting skills with a contemplative touch.


http://www.billdeasy.com

http://www.lizberlin.com

Read an interview with Bill Deasy
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