REVIEW: Bill Bloomer’s “Jubilee” is Fascinating Songs By A World Weary Character


On Jubilee, Bill Bloomer’s voice sounds like a(n even more) world-weary Tom Russell, with a gravelly voiced soaked in the whiskey he references so often in his songs. His weariness is unsurprising, given the weight of the political themes he wrestles with, such as the plight of Native Americans, which appears in multiple songs. In “Winter On The Road,” Bloomer concludes “I made me some plans / to go back to America before Custer’s Last Stand / and y’know I’m still out here on this road.” Bloomer is even more direct in “Columbus,” a song entirely dedicated to the issue, in which he declares, “There’s no moral to this story. It’s immoral and it’s true. / You been doing unto your neighbor, son. Soon he’ll do it back to you.”

Bloomer’s disenchantment with America – he’s an expat, living with his French wife in France – becomes clear on this album. In “Go Find Yourself,” he tells an unnamed conversational partner to “Go rediscover America where no lover’ll take care of you,” suggesting that America is a cold, uncaring place. An even more damning statement appears in “Can’t See It From Here:” “There’s 29 Palmarians and they’ve have taken the hill .Those S.O.B.s are dressed to kill. / They set their sights on civil liberties and lift their leg on the Joshua Tree.” The Christian Palmarian Church of the Carmelites of the Holy Face is a small schismatic Catholic church based on claims of holy apparitions in the 1970s, considered heretical by the mainline Catholic church and vice versa; Bloomer is saying that the capitol has been taken over by heretics who are pissing on America’s heritage. So it’s no surprise when he sings, “I get tired of playing for grown-ups,” in “Winter On The Road.”

This is just a selection of the themes on Jubilee. Bill Bloomer is a character. His credits include thank-yous to Texas country scene figure Grady Walker, previously mentioned here by Red Shahan, [click one of these words in bold to read about that] and folk legend Steve Goodman, a family friend, who set Bill on his musical journey. To get the full flavor of this unique and fascinating individual, listen to Jubilee now.  Find your copy here:

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