Review Summary: Simple stories set to simple background by a far from simple man.
„Listening to Bill DeMarco transports you to a place where music knows that it has a job to do,” is what Bill’s website states about him. He is the unlikely songster of praise to the rich history of American country music. In simplicity of instrumental work – a mere guitar and harmonica – and often simplicity in lyrics, he spends his time exploring rather personal intimate stories, atmosphere of ease and musical themes indicative of outlaw live-easy styles popularised in the 60s. He is unconcerned with heavy social or philosophical matters. After all it is not what you want to hear to relax. Bill is content with making content content, for the betterment of your day and for the smile you could potentially sport. I suppose a deeper analysis is warranted in any respectable review. But on occasion, in bouts of common peace, in hopes for happiness and shared ideals of simpler life or a life simply lived, a quick half hour of straightforward guitar tunes is not something necessitating a nitpicky studious critique. And even if subjected to such scrutiny, it’d seem grotesque in regards to such a well-meaning album, that even the likes of Émile Zola would have called it a “J’ennuie”.
Bill’s website further draws comparison between him and Bob Dylan or Don MacLean. Such assertions are perhaps out of place, as neither Bill’s intended style of pragmatic mindfulness is on par with the weighty subject matters tackled by the mentioned parties, nor is his artistry resplendent enough in both lyrics and songwriting. Themes and stories on Braided Chords
are far from stellar narratives, but they strike with down-to-earth composure. Seems appropriate that music they are set to is uncomplicated, mostly resorting to a few chords and similar tuneful melodies. It ain’t a sign of banality, ain’t a wither of talent; it is a calculated effort to loosen and temper your emotional state with the bare minimum one needs to make music. The DIY aspect of this album is undeniable. Often it even sounds like the songs were recorded at different times in different places with different equipment. And no patchwork of mastering was done to mask it. That only adds to the album’s quiet charm. Bill DeMarco is no professional, he is a regular fella working a corporate job and his love for music and connoisseur approach to sound history of Americana grew into a passion project that both puts a smile on my face in the story of its creation and is designed to put a smile on your face in the story of its content.