Jeff Hasselberger and Bill Kaman are guitar-industry vets, but also genuine singer/songwriters and players. Like the best Texas music, it’s not easy to categorize their style in one tidy slot – it’s rock, blues, soul, country, folk, and more, all crafted into their own down-home vibe.
Bill and Jeff are strong songwriters and lyricists, and their tunes speak of real-life troubles, hopes, and dreams, making this collection all the more compelling.
“One Window Town” kicks off the album with a rocker, both players adding guitar and the always-excellent Matt Smith on bass (he also produced). “40 Feet Of Water” refers to the tragic Blanco River floods of 2015 and rocks like a Joe Walsh stomper; Jeff wrote it and Bill adds tasty slide.
Conversely, the pair can knock out sweet country-western such as “Layin’ My Burdens Down,” which benefits from tremolo-laced guitar and baritone. “Hill Country Home” is a gorgeous soul tune in the manner of Curtis Mayfield; it’s Hasselberger’s ode to the heartache of the road.
“The Secret” is swampy blues with guitar, baritone, and Smith on haunting lap steel, while “Needles Highway” is bittersweet country-pop graced with Nashville-strung acoustic and a fat bass lines played on a ’58 P-Bass.
This is an album that will get under your skin and stay there. Better yet, each track lists the specific guitars and basses used, including a number of vintage planks.
This article originally appeared in VG December 2017 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.