Williboy Taxi – Down the Road
10 tracks; 35 minutes
William Rossi, also known as Williboy Taxi, lives in Sardinia, Italy. But, to listen to his latest album, Down the Road, you’d imagine he’d be right at home in the center of Clarksdale, Mississippi. Inspired by the music of John Lee Hooker, Leadbelly, Robert Johnson and many more, this guitarist, harmonica player, songwriter, (and taxi driver), has released an excellent album of acoustic blues.
All the tracks are original songs (with the exception of a brief sampling at the beginning of the album of an acapella version of “C.C. Rider”). Rossi is joined on nearly every song by Vittorio Pitzalis, who contributes resonator guitar, acoustic guitar and a little electric guitar. And, the second song, “Baby Don’t Cry” features a beautiful and tasteful addition of the violin, played by Anna Maria Viani.
There is no fault to be found in the musicianship of these artists, and at times Rossi’s playing appears to show a John Hammond influence. Rossi also has some beautifully poetic lyrics in his songs, often powerfully portraying the experience of melancholy. For example, in “Hurt and Pain” he states “All my life is a train that gives off hurt and pain. When I look at the time it always seems too late. In the morning I feel alright. In the night I take everything with me in a grave.” And, in “Possession of You” he notes, “You threw it all away because you were tired. It’s a kind of depression that brings tears to my eyes, but that all keeps me moving and makes me stronger.”
The only downfall of this album is that in a few of the songs the lyrics can be a bit repetitive and fall short of a complete story. But, overall, fans of acoustic blues will find this album very enjoyable and will want to add it to their collection.