Poor Billy
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Poor Billy

Trige, Central Jutland, Denmark | INDIE

Trige, Central Jutland, Denmark | INDIE
Band Rock Americana




"Brother Wake Up"

Style : Roots Rock
Rate (1-5)**** :

About three years ago I was introduced to the Music of Poor Billy, a band from Denmark with lots of blues and American roots influences. If “Moonlight Stranger”, the previous album of the band was inspired by the blues, “Brother Wake Up” shows us a total different band with lots of new found influences and energy.

Today Poor Billy is matured, their sound is more Rock orientated but still comes with a majority of roots influences. Dobro, Lap Steel, Blues Harp and Pump Organ are still some of the main ingredients of their music, but the atmosphere is changed for sure. It seems that a lot of other influences crept in over the years. Names like Nick Cave or genres like Southern Gothic are never far away on this album.

“Electric Fields” is hauntingly beautiful thanks to the inclusion of the lap Steel / slide effects, title track “Brother Wake Up” feels like a Captain Beefheart song and on “Shut Up Baby please” the band stamps their angst and angriness into one song! However that is how it feels on a first listening but when listening close to the lyrics, references to Frank Zappa and his Sheik Yerbouti album (pronounce as Shake Your Bootie) can be found in the lyrics. “Shut Up Baby” is without doubt a tune that must be considered as a tribute to the big man. “Drifters Wife” brings us back to a point of tranquility on this album. But not for long cause “No that Devil” immediately kicks in again with a good blues rocking sound. Closing the album is “By The Door of Hell” in which the aforementioned pump organ finally starts to grown. Somehow a mood that reminds me to “The Doors” seems to take over by moments although the influences of Southern Gothic and Dark Folk are unmistakably the biggest power here.

A must have for each of you who has an acquired taste or has a darker soul. If you are a fan of Jay Munley, 16 Horsepower or Slim Cessna’s autoclub, chances are big you’ll dig this one as well.

Mr. Blue Boogie.
- www.rootsville.be

"Brother Wake Up"

Review by Marcie from www.rootstime.be


If you ever have listened to the album 'Moonlight Stranger' then you cannot understand, why this
band not yet are known world-wide.
The energy, rhythm, dynamics and songwriting from this band is impressive.
They build a bridges between present and past and America and Europe with their music.

The singer Karsten Olesen finds his inspiration to the songs in his own imagination and in haphazard observations. Possible also in images from film or literature. Some of the songs have an atmosphere of old 'film noirs' as those furious fairy-tales, populated with devils, vampires, shamans and river-people played in a straightforward rhythm.

The influence of the Mississippi blues is here less prominent than on their previous album from 2008.
Instead dominates the spirit that comes from names such as Captain Beefheart, The Doors and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds.

Peter Sandegaard plays guitar or dobro, so that the rocking 'Brother Wake Up´ becomes even more
Also the drumming from Søren Poulsen suits perfect to the energetic drive of the group.
Bassist Jesper Holt Andersen joins as fourth man to the other 'angry young men' from Denmark.

The band argue against pollution, faking newsmakers and everything that in this hectic time irritates.

The songs of Poor Billy are modern rock, but they also reaches back to the passionate spirit of rebellion that bands were expressing in the seventies.

The text in 'Bells Of China' is like it was made in a fog of halluciations.
The fierce 'Corn On My Plate' where Karsten plays harmonica have been transformed into a rough twenty-first century work-song.
When you hear 'Halleluja Riverboat', you will ask yourself, when will the mutiny break out
Only 'Electric Fields' and 'Drifters Wife' with the lapsteel of Sandegaard brings quiet songs on an album with mainly whirling music by Poor Billy.
The Danish band hides the most beautiful song at the end of the album. 'By The Door Of Hell', where the pump organ played by Thomas Alstrup creates the most dramatic song.

´By The Door Of Hell´and ´Corn On My Plate´ are my favourite tracks from the cd.

Here we have a band, that combines bluesrock with their very own music, in which several streams flow together. All musicians seems collectively to let their devils go as a personal sacrifice to their privat muse.

And the cover with the inserted booklet with all bizarre lyrics – a rarity these days

- www.rootstime.be Marcie

"Moonlight stranger"

Style : Americana
Rate (1-5) :

With a strong musical pressure coming from the Mississippi delta blues and with influences that goes as far as Bob Dylan & 16 Horsepower, Poor Billy creates a unique sound for their new album Moonlight Stranger. A sound that is best described as a mix between traditional styles and a more modern Alt.blues. Nothing special so far wasn’t it these guys are born & raised far away from the Mississippi delta. Hailing from the cold Denmark where blues hardly can be called a native form of music, these guys succeed in creating a great atmosphere. An atmosphere best fitted for a real juke joint.

Opener “Dare da You” immediately gives away what it is all about on this album. Dustry scratchy roots music combined with modern influences and topped with rich lyrics.
“Lovetrain “ does remind me of that other great Scandinavian band, “Madrugada”. Part traditional part alternative the sound on this tune is complex jet simple. A lot of different sounds and instruments are conjured and mould into something quite impressive. Add to that a nice blues harp and an impressive voice and the picture is complete. Title track “Moonlight Stranger” borrows the intro of Pink Floyd’s “Money” but quickly moves into other territories when Karsten Olsen starts on vocals. This is a dark but enjoyable tune that picks up different influences from bands like “16 horsepower” or “Slim Cessna’s Autoclub”.
“Fables” takes you back to the origin of their music. Stripped down to the bear necessities only vocals, blues harp and banjo are included on this tune, while “Golden River” takes us on a journey direction Bob Dylan. With “Hootchie Koo Man” an electric blues tune, “Poor Billy” shifts their accent more into the blues direction and creates one of the better tunes on the album. “Sct. Christopher” is the tune that is getting a lot of airplay on Danish radio these days but it’s also one of the tunes that don’t fit on the album if you ask me. Not that it isn’t a good one, certainly not but somehow “Sct. Christopher” and closing tune “High on you” are sounding differently. But I can easily understand why “Sct. Christopher” was chosen for airplay. The tune does brag a lot of sing a long quality and is a real feel good tune as well.

“Moonlight Stranger” isn’t a big album in the sense of twenty songs or over an hour of music but it certainly one that creates a great mood in less then 40 minutes. Ten tracks, of which nine are at least said impressive, are compiled here on this album and I can highly recommend the album to each of you that is into exploring the boundaries of modern day roots music. Don’t expect predefined guidelines here, but open your mind and senses for a great experience. On their website you can check out the full version of “Lovetrain”, without doubt a tune that gives away their sound!

Mr. Blue Boogie
- Blue Boogie CD review www.billybop.be

"Moonlight stranger"


Sometimes falls there a surprise from the air under the form of a Cd that you of the beginning till the end intrigue.
Every time I listen to 'Snake With 7 Tails', wakes this the energy on of seven kandijklontjes.
The discovery comes from Denmarkflown, where you not immediately a snake or a 'Hootcie Koo Man' expect, but well fables.
Nonetheless is that that about which 'Poor Billy' sings, a group Danish good-looking musicians, that on seek went to the
gold veins in the mud of America, but then symbolic.
Karsten Olesen wrote the ten numbers with plezier and phantasy.
Self plays he harmonica and a single time acoustic guitar.
The dynamic rhythm section of bassist Jesper Runs
Otherwise and drummer Decorated Poulsen gives extra élan
at this album.
Karsten has been blessed with a hoarse/warm voice, that the middle holds between Willy Deville, Tom Waits and Frankie Miller.
Its imagination set self round in songteksten that as well lyrisch, ironic as mythical be.
In the rootsmuziek of this Danish kwartet, your Mississippi Delta influences catch, but also the English bluessound from the sixties years.
Everything in an energetic style packs.
Thin Lizzy and The Doors its also not far away.
The dobro, banjo and guitars of Godfather Sandegaard let the country rhythms doorsijpelen.
In 'On Your Own' see your a. h. w the shadows of the troubadours on the horizon wegdansen.
No only weak number under these ten.
The 'Lovetrain' rides on the tempo of the harmonica and the drum through Poor Billy's puzzling landscape.
Over 'Moonlight Stranger' with reminiscenties at Tom Waits, the moonlight its mystery spreads.
'Fables' with banjo is playful and ambiguous as a kinderliedje.
The River' 'Counted slides supple and capriciously through Karsten's hersenspinsels.
And the 'Snake' is usual the Top.

Poor Billy stepped on in Denmark in about all locations and regions.
It becomes time that this tie breaks out over the country border, gladly to Belgium before further down to pull.
For as Ian Siegal a discovery was, I place also this album of our far Noorderburen by the similar musical hebbedingetjes.


www.rootstime.be www.myspace.com/rootstime - www.rootstime.be / Marcie

"Moonlight stranger"

Reveal ambitions your creative developments in the dark world of scratchy roots music to?
The Recipe is very simple: a singer with a remarkable sense or textual universe, in a tie
where the chemistry and energy are tangible, and the music undiluted...
Might you it from out go that your tie in comment come this as first to realize then must
we you at the same time disillusion for bezieler / frontman Karsten Olesen and its tie
Poor Billy its you too quickly finished been.

It is at the same time after the first notes of "Dare Da You" clear that the company from
Denmark self court experimental dares essay...
a strong influence from the Mississippi Delta and echo or artists dab of Bob Dylan ("Golden River"),
16 Horsepower ("High on You") and the Soggy Bottom Boys ("Snake With 7 Tails", "Fables")
here are translated in a ten songs written by Karsten Olesen and the result is amazing.
Together with Godfather Sandegaard / dobro, banjo, acoustic & electric guitars, backingvocals,
Jesper Runs otherwise / basses & backingvocals and
decorated Poulsen / drums washboard and cowbell (!)
worstelt Olesen self through these not - everyday musical mix.

Usual "On Your Own" for the four with "Moonlight Stranger" a bank of an album is apparently
sufficient finished to furnish, and it feels at or you sat as a "Hootcie Koo Man" on a "Lovetrain"
through the Southern fried blues from ...
Denmark rages!
Are you on missing to a company that outside the traditional edges dares colors then is Poor Billy
no "mystery" more but the cut tie for you and (SWA). Excellent album! - www.rootsville.be


Karsten O My feet are naked (2001)
Poor Billy - Poor Billy (ep) (2004)
Poor Billy - Give It All Back (2004)(single from PB)
Poor Billy - Moonlight stranger (2008)
Poor Billy - Sct. Christopher (2008)(single from M.S.)
Poor Billy - Brother Wake Up (2011)
Poor Billy - Union Carbide Man (2011) (Single from BWU)

The singles :
Give It All Back (2004),
Sct. Christopher (2008)
Union Carbide Man (2011)
got airplay in DK and all over the world



In 2001 he released the album Karsten O – My Feet Are Naked.

Then changed bandname to Poor Billy. Who released an ep in 2004 called Poor Billy, from where the song ´Give It All Back´ got in rotation in Danish National Radio.

Next album, the delta-blues inspired ´Moonlight Stranger´, was released in 2008, where the song ´Sct. Christopher´ became ´Track Of The Week´ on Garageband.com, got in rotation in Danish National Radio and is among the chosen songs in the category of Americana to be `Song of the year´ in the ´International Song Competition´ .

Poor Billy have played in concert places all over Denmark and their new album ´Brother Wake Up´ - produced by Thomas Alstrup in Lundgaard Studio - is released this year 2011.
And `Union Carbide Man` is the single from the album which
is being played on National Radio P4 in Denmark and on
radiostations in : Sweden, Belgium, Holland, England.

Quotes from reviews
”But Poor Billy is undeniably the best Danish rock band since the 1900-century”
Rune Hager www.rootsy.nu
”Poor Billy and Brother Wake Up is Danish roots music in legaue Form”
Søren J. Lund www.undertoner.dk
”In terms of energy, rhytm, dynamics and songwriting impresses this Band”
Marcie www.rootstime.be