My Favorite Records:Billy Hill – I Am Just a Rebel

This is the sixth part in my series of favorite records.

When I lived in Nashville from 1982-85, one of my favorite musicians was John Scott Sherrill. I saw him and his band many times at the Goldrush and other local watering holes. While he is one of the most successful songwriters in Nashville, I can find very little John Scott Sherrill the performer’s music on CD, or even LP (occasionally you can find some 45 promos on eBay). The one recording that is available is the only record by Billy Hill, a band he was in in the late 80s with fellow Nashville great Bob DiPiero and some of Nashville’s other legendary songwriters and session players.

The Album, I Am Just a Rebel is a virtual clinic of real country music songwriting and playing. Too Much Month at the End of the Money is the kind of songwriting that would have been a huge hit had it been recorded by one of Nashville’s marketed stars. Just in Case You Want to Know is a bluesy country tear jerker that you can imagine playing on the jukebox while you drink away your sorrows. One of the best and most unusual covers ever is a countrified version of the Four Tops’ Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch. You’ve got to hear it to believe it, but it works. My favorite song on the record is either the beautifully forlorn Drive on By or the country-rocker Rollin’ Dice.

There’s great writing and great playing on this record. It’s pretty obscure, but fortunately it’s available at Amazon and perhaps elsewhere.

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