Bill(y) Durst

In my collection, I have these extremely odd sub-categories. One of them is “Blues and Blues Rock Music That Should Be Listened to in Small Clubs at Ear-Splitting Volume“.

Plus a liter of Tequila, of course, to keep the motor running.

See, I spent half (hell, a lot more …) of my life in small smoke-infested clubs, late at night, enjoying the hell out of musicians that are passionate about their music. I just love ignoring the big fancy acts in favor of the average guy and gal trying to get his or her music out there, no matter how. I have met and talked to a ton of musicians who make a living off that kind of life, the one that starts at 8 o’clock in the evening (or later) in some smoky bar or dilapidated club and ends in bed at around the time other people get up. A tough life and consistently so. But a dedicated one.

I have absolutely no idea who Bill Durst is. Yes, I read up on him and his music, which reaches back into the 70s, but it’s all for naught as I don’t really care to do that most of the time. The music comes first, always. I put on one of his later albums, “Good Good Lovin” (2015), and it grabbed me by the cojones. I then preceded to buy into the rest. Simple story, really, and one regular readers of this blog might be more than accustomed to.

I have often been taken to task for liking blues musicians that aren’t Eric Clapton (definitely not one of my favorites with 20 years+ of absolutely bland and generic blues muzak) or any of the other “greats” that defined genres, pushed boundaries and were, in other people’s words, “the shit”. I don’t care about that approach at all, especially since I have grown up with jazz music which, in a huge number of cases, is nothing but living off acts that hit the scene previously. A melange of old and new, chops and invention, or someone just saying that what was fabulous way back when is good enough for him or her today. You can hear if someone can channel that kind of music history and, in a best-case scenario, can add to it to move it further down the timeline.

Bill Durst might shoot me for saying so (probably not), but I added the “y” to “Bill” because he’s got that ZZTop vibe going half of the time (let’s ignore the beard for a minute). It’s raunchy, it rocks and it shakes the patio.

Bill Durst is apparently someone who knows what I like.

Bill Durst is Canadian (and he’s probably the better for it as nobody in his right mind would turn to the US nowadays) and he co-founded Thundermug in 1970 (they went the way of many bands and disappeared in 1976), a band I know absolutely zilch about. Never heard their stuff. He was in a ZZTop tribute band (really?) and the material I saw him resurface with on his own solo recordings post 2005 just did it for me: The Wharncliffe Sessions (2005), The Great Willy Mammoth (2009), Live (2012), Hard and Heavy (2013) … and the aforementioned Good Good Lovin (2015).

Besides Mike Zito, whom I mentioned in passing in my last post and who doesn’t fit this mould at all, Bill Durst has ravaged my headphones for the past weeks.

I’d love to meet the guy because he is a musician to my liking and taste. Someone who does his thing, screw the rest, and does so with a certain panache that I have always adored.

Do check his music out.
Give the guy a chance in a music scene that is swamped with a trillion streamable bits & bytes, most of which are a waste of bandwidth.

And if you don’t like his music, fine with me, but you won’t be a guest at my house anytime soon.

And, of course, hugs & kisses from Germany to Bill for ruining my speakers.
Much appreciated!



Posted by Volkher Hofmann

Volkher Hofmann (deus62) has been blogging on and off since the 1990s and is all that is left. He loves music, literature, drumming and, most of all, real life. He thinks the open web is much more important than social networks, closed-in ecosystems and other severely commercialized online endeavors.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *