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Let Em Run

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Album Review

While all acoustic folk-based bands are throwbacks of a sort, the Bills purposely cultivate an "old time" aura. Even the group's photo, tinged in sepia, reminds one a bit of the Band circa 1968. The Bills' subject matter — like the Band's and the Grateful Dead's — is tinged with Americana, though presented in an elliptical manner. There are Biblical floods, wise fools, and references to jigger poles, temptress hens, and drunken moons. The title track tells the odd tale of chickens running free, though there also seems to be a pun on runny eggs, while "Lay Down" mixes images of food and sensuality. What exactly these songs are saying is anyone's guess, but as with the above-mentioned artists, literal meaning matters less than evoking a mysterious mood. The Bills — Marc Atkinson, Adrian Dolan, Glen Manders, Jeremy Penner, and Chris Frye — are also great musicians who add, surprisingly, a touch of the classical to their instrumental work. This combination of folk, classical, and, yes, even Cajun, guarantees a variety of approaches from song to song, and also gives the band a distinct sound. The Bills, good musicians and singers, combine solid material with an evocative presentation. While purists may prefer the rougher edges of old-time folk, most listeners will probably prefer the Bills' smooth professionalism and enthusiasm. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., Rovi

Customer Reviews

These guys are great

The Bills (formerly the Bill Hillies) are flat out incredible musicians. Their music is tasty, the composition of their songs is superb, and the harmonies are a treat to listen to. You can't go wrong in trying them out, for their songs have the the quality that the more you listen to them, the better the get. They deliver a concoction of sophisticated folk/newgrass combined with all sorts of world flavors and a generous sense of humor. If you ever get a chance to see them live, don't pass it up. Their dynamic stage presence will give you a show you won't soon forget. iTunes needs to hurry up and get the rest of their albums!

The Bills

I bought this album on a whim and am very glad for it. Great songwriting , production, and harmonies not to mention the amazing musicianship are some of the reasons I'm glad I stumbled upon this band. I listen to many kinds of music, not just folk and bluegrass and find this band accessible enough to listen too. They mix several different styles with even some classical and jazz touches here and there. Basically this band is really good if your looking for a new way to listen to folk or bluegrass.

Great Musicians, Great Songwriters

I simply cannot understand how The Bills have not become internationally reknowned musicians. These guys are amazing. The music is beautiful, lively, and embracing. Their lyrics are smooth, tasteful, and thought-provoking. From bluegrass, to folk, to cajun, and even into polka, these guys have composed some geniusly entertaining stuff.


Formed: 1996

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '00s

In 1996 on Canada's Vancouver Island, five acoustic multi-instrumentalists (Marc Atkinson, Chris Frye, Adrian Dolan, Glen Manders, and Jeremy Penner) came together to blend the music they loved and create a "folk world fusion" that would eventually earn them the 2003 Western Canadian Music Award for Outstanding Roots Release. Originally called the Bill Hilly Band, the five-piece spent four years perfecting their fun and rootsy sound in front of live audiences before stepping into the studio to record...
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Let Em Run, The Bills
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Customer Ratings