Guest Reviewer: Brad Wheeler, music writer for the Globe and Mail

Bill Bourne A Love Fandango Twelve Point Records

I’d like to say the Edmontonian Bill Bourne sounds like he has a hell hound on his trail, but he deserves better than a blues cliché. Still, he sounds like he has a hell hound on his trail.
Released in September, A Love Fandango has a lovely autumnal feel, like a soundtrack to a wheat-field film starring Lucinda Williams. Bourne plays banjo, dulcimer and four or five varieties of guitar – I lost count. You don’t need me to tell you that he’s accomplished on all those stringed things. He could probably play a bean if he had to.
But what stands out on here is Bourne’s voice. There’s world-weariness to it. He’s lived. You believe him when he sings Love Never Cost a Dime. You believe him when he proposes that love makes him feel alright, that it turns darkness into light, that it makes us want to dance and that it isn’t all wild romance.
Then he sings about something that cost $40.Maybe he’s talking about his first guitar? Could be, but even if he isn’t, I believe the song equates love with music – that it’s all the same and it’s all free.
Bourne closes the album with the cozy Hunker Down, about taking care of yourself. It’s for all seasons. “Hunker down, play guitar, sing along,” he advises. “Stay warm, like you are.” Same to him.

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