Billy Sharff’s self-released debut album This Side of Town introduces a singer-songwriter in the vein of John Prine or the late fellow-New Hampshire artist Bill Morrissey. The album’s 14 songs feature, simply, Sharff’s weathered, talk-singing voice accompanied by his solid guitar backing. The songs’ stories are engaging and familiar, like the wintry neighborhood street photo featured on the album cover.
“Like a Drug” registers strong, describing the come-down challenge of quitting an ex-lover. And prodigal-son-tale “The Gambler” could make one forget the better-known country song of the same name. Other standouts include “Happy Are the Drowned” and “When the Sky Came Crumbling Down”. Sharff’s debut is worth checking out, and he’s definitely one to keep an eye on moving forward.
// Notes from the Road
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