Country Fried Rock alum, Americana songwriter Billy Eli — known for his unique voice and strong songwriting — is releasing his fifth album, The UnExplainable Billy Eli.
Billy Eli writes tight, lean songs played with an inviting groove His songs of love, longing, the road, and getting by are, in his words, sometimes happy, sometimes sad.
His first album, “Something’s Going On,” released in 1994, garnered strong reviews, a cult following in Europe, and a couple of years of enthusiastic touring to happy crowds, But shortly after the release of that album, his twins were born, including a son who was diagnosed with autism at the age of three. Billy’s decision to stick close to home because of his son’s needs , followed by marriage and the acquisition of two stepchildren, one with cerebral palsy a few years later, kept his performing career to a limited number of shows a year. He continued to write and record, releasing two albums in 2000 and 2003. In 2011 he released his fourth album and went back to touring full time. That album, “Hell Yeah!” spent 16 weeks on the Root-Rock chart, reaching as high as number 14, and was listed at #67 on the Top 100 Roots-Country albums of 2011.
His current release, “The UnExplainable Billy Eli,” pulls painfully raw emotions from his gut and turns them into haunting, affecting, melody-driven songs. The themes begun in his earlier work continue here, deeper, stronger, and with the sense of urgency that comes when you begin to sense the downhill side of the journey.
She Looked Like Marilyn Monroe – written by Billy Eli
Right in Time – performed with Rosie Flores, song written by Lucinda Williams
Lost Behind the Wall – written by Billy Eli
Whiskey Drinkin Woman – written by Billy Eli, Jim Hemphill and Ed Tree
Punishing Time – written by Billy Eli
Here I Go I’m Gone – written by Billy Eli
Just To Satisfy You – written by Waylon Jennings and Don Bowman
Ride All Night – written by Billy Eli
Come On Out – written by Billy Eli and Jim Hemphill
Burnin Down The Beerjoints – written by Billy Eli
Nothing But The Wheel – written by John Scott Sherrill
Produced, edited, mixed and mastered by Doug Robinson at Watershed Arts Studio, Ithaca NY
Vocals, guitar – Billy Eli
Electric guitar, backing vocals, mandolin – Jim Hemphill
Violin, 6 string violin, acoustic guitar and “Frankentele” a baritone guitar – Eric Aceto
Upright Bass, backing vocals – Doug Robinson
Pedal steel guitar, lap steel, dobro – Kevin Maul
Drums – Al Hartland
Piano Accordion, Cajun Button Accordion – Dennis Gurwell
Electric piano, organ, harmonica, iPhone, backing vocals, and collaborative energy on She Looked Like Marilyn Monroe, Punishing Time, and Lost Behind the Wall – Ken Stringfellow
Musical Saw – Erin Keyfitz
Backing vocals on Marilyn Monroe – Pamela Parker