Whether as a solo artist or a member of The Gathering Field, Bill Deasy has never made a record that wasn’t filled with stirring melodies, evocative lyrics and heartfelt performances, and his third solo release, "The Miles" continues that tradition in fine style.
It’s Deasy’s most complete record to date, revealing his diverse influences and showcasing his trademark heartland singer-songwriter style with a memorable set of songs. The opener and title track is a metaphor for the Pittsburgh native’s nomadic life as a musician and songwriter, while the philosophical “Getting Closer” is a definite nod to his days in The Gathering Field.
The country stomp of “Judgement Day” takes Deasy into previously unchartered waters as a songwriter, but after that successful experiment, delicate ballad “Wish There Was a Way” sees Deasy at his brilliant, understated best. “Beautiful Stranger” shimmers with its haunting guitar refrain, poignant lyrics and Renee Stahl’s delicate background vocals, while “Trouble From The Start” sees the diversity continue with a contrasting song featuring a down-and-dirty verse and beautifully uplifting chorus.
In an album without any filler whatsoever, the acoustic “Blue Highways” is another highlight, but perhaps the most powerful and affecting track is “Standing By The River”, a piano-based epic that confirms Deasy’s songwriting gift, even though it was never in doubt.
Following Deasy’s highly successful foray as a novelist with his debut novel "Ransom Seaborn" in 2006, "The Miles" is yet another creative triumph for one of the most talented singer-songwriters in America.