2020 – BillyLee Janey
By Phillip Smith; Aug. 1, 2020
It’s always exciting to hear new material from Iowa Blues Hall of Fame member BillyLee Janey (Truth and Janey). Janey’s bravado is a force to be reckoned with and his brand of electric blues is hard to beat. For his latest album, 20 Dollar Tip, Janey returns to the studio with Dan ‘DJ’ Johnson on bass, Eric Douglas on drums, and Tom ‘T-Bone’ Giblin (Lonnie Brooks, The Dynatones, Mighty Joe Young) on Hammond B3 to produce an engaging, well-crafted record. His son Bryce Janey mixed and mastered the record, and also appears on backing vocals.
Title-track “20 Dollar Tip” takes off in a dazzling fury with a wonderful display of searing guitar licks. Flexing its muscles with a hard-driving rhythm and serious B3 back-up, it’s a great song to kick things off with. Janey infuses a tasty bit of funk in his infectious tribute to delta blues in “Way Down in a Mississippi Town”. This is definitely one of my favorites. If there were a category for Best Soul Blues Song of the Year, “Love’s Gonna Stop That Train” would definitely be a contender. The song is absolutely fabulous. In “Stepping Out with the Blues”, Janey’s performance drips with Chicago-style authenticity, and sounds like perfection. This nine-track album comes to a rollicking close with “Shake My Soul”, making for one hell of a blues jam.
20 Dollar Tip is a splendid listen from start to finish, and highly recommended.
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