If there was ever any doubt, Shelter From The Smoke dispels it—Bill Fox is one of this country’s finest songwriters. As the former frontman of seminal Cleveland band The Mice, Fox is one of the giants of pop and an obvious influence on his Ohio brethren, Guided By Voices and The Breeders.
Moving away from the pure power pop of his former band, Fox’s solo career shows the artist expanding his musical horizons to incorporate a greater range of influences and elements of classic American music. Of course the McCartney influence is still there (“Over And Away She Goes”), but Fox’s music has gotten much folkier, as evidenced by the Dylan-drenched “Get Your Workingman’s Things” and “I’m Not Over Loving You” and the Doc Watson-styled “Jordan Is A Hard Road To Travel.” Shelter From The Smoke is a re-release of Fox’s first solo effort that was originally issued on the Cherry Pop label and captures the brilliant songwriter’s myriad musical explorations and astounding versatility.
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