Billy Joe Green
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Billy Joe Green

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BILLY JOE GREEN / The Best Of (Strongfront)

Billy Joe Green is one of those seemingly ageless Manitoba bluesmen that toil in relative obscurity but continue to please audiences as far and wide as their semi-reliable vehicles will take them. The Best Of BJG collects 10 hot tracks (and one newly-recorded bonus number) from three of Green’s albums dating as far back as 1997 and it’s a doozie of a set. Billy Joe has a startlingly raw guitar tone that he corrals into making some wonderfully hellacious sounds full of sustain and personality. The dynamics of a track like Soul Search with its careening Stratocaster howls and wild dive bombs can be compared to what Jeff Beck has been doing lately, and that’s a tall order for any guitarist.

By pushing these contemporary blues to their sonic limit and avoiding all the tired clichés, Billy Joe Green has created a boisterous body of work that needs to be heard. 4 stars out of 5. — Jeff Monk - Winnipeg Free Press


Discography

Roughin' It - Sunshine Records
My Ojibway Experience - Thunderboy Records
Muskrat Blues - Thunderboy Records
The Best of Billy Joe Green - StrongFront Records

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Bio

Billy Joe Green is one of Canada’s premiere blues guitar slingers. He gets his inspiration and drive from having lived a pretty tough life, after being snatched away from home and family at the age of six and forcefully placed in residential school for ten years. This caused much spiritual displacement and emotional dysfunction in Billy Joe’s life, including many years of active alcohol addiction.

But it was the love he received from his family that stayed with him all through those hopeless times. Equally important was the country-blues guitar playing and singing of his dad, David Green, which created in him a lonely longing, everlasting wish and powerful thirst to play music that would ease and comfort him. Even to this day.

As years passed by, other Indian people dealing with their own residual effects of residential schools began to find hope in Billy Joe’s performances. More and more, requests came in for Billy Joe to play, and he found himself thrust, sometimes shyly and unsurely, into the limelight.

A recently deceased drummer friend of Billy Joe’s once said: “If you believe that the blues is therapeutic on an experiential level, then Billy Joe is a blues shaman of his time. A guitarist full of expression, he is capable of conveying the rawest of human emotions and transferring them to his listeners. Somehow the vibration from artist to audience offers up the blues to the higher spirits, allowing emotions to arise and pass away and lighten the burden of anyone listening as intently as Billy Joe is playing. Play on my brother, play on…” -- Jimmy Payne, Calgary

With the power of pure love from the Creator, and unending support of family and friends, Billy Joe survived his addiction and has been in recovery for 16 years. He has received much spiritual guidance in his journey from elders such as Peter Ochiese (who gave Billy Joe and his children their spiritual names) and Wapo Pi-ishew. Along the way, Billy Joe has come to know who he really is – Osawi Kinew, and tribal member of the Bear Clan from Anishinabe Ah-keeng.

Today, Billy Joe Green is rough and ready to rock the blues anywhere, anytime. He continues to feed his insatiable fire by writing and recording new songs and always trying to improve his guitar abilities.