BILLY THE KID AND THE REGULATORS
I CAN’T CHANGE
I CAN’T CHANGE–AIN’T GOTTA PROVE NOTHING–WHAT ARE WE FIGHTING FOR–STORY OF THE BLUES–WHO–THAT DARN CAT–SLENDER MAN BLUES–CAN’T STAND TO SEE YOU GO–SATURDAY NIGHT–ME AND THE DEVIL BLUES
Billy The Kid (Evanochko) And The Regulators are a high-octane blues band from Pittsburgh, and they have amassed quite a resume’ over the last decade or so. Along with numerous West Virginia and Pennsylvania local blues awards, they finished third in the 2014 IBC’s, and in the Top 5 of the 2013 IBC Best Self-Produced CD competition. Billy’s on guitar and vocals, and he has a full band behind him on their latest set, “I Can’t Change.” It is ten cuts of blues that comes at you hard and fast, just like a Rothliesberger spiral. Aside from Billy, guitar duties are also shared by Jon Vallecorsa, James Dougherty, (on slide guitar), and the set’s producer, Damon Fowler, who adds guitar on one cut. Harp duties are handled by Jason Ricci, also.
Starting off, we have a couple of strong blues-rock cuts that set the tone nicely. The title cut is first, with Billy lamenting the fact that his bad habits are so ingrained in him that “I Can’t Change.” Next up is a stone shot of James Brown-inspired funk, where he tells all those who are “talkin’ loud and sayin’ nothin” that “I Ain’t Gotta Prove Nothing!”
The longer this set goes, the grittier and more down-home the blues become. Jason’s harp over some fine Chicago-styled guitar drives Billy’s take on “Who,” and everybody has a good time with the slow-blues of Dave McKenzie’s ode to the skills of “the little guys,” aptly-titled “The Slender Man Blues.” Billy pays a sweet tribute to Jimmy Reed on the loping boogie of “Can’t Stand To See You Go,” while “Saturday Night” rumbles like a freight train thru the Steeltown night, with guest Damon Fowler on guitar. The set closes on a Delta-fied, acoustic note, with Billy’s leads, James’ slide, and Jason’s harp beckoning ole Satan to “come on in,” as Billy sings Robert Johnson’s “Me And The Devil, walkin’ side by side!”
Our favorite was one of the soul-blues cuts. “What Are We Fighting For” has Billy trying to figure out a difficult lover, and this one has that good ole horn-driven Southside Johnny or Springsteen vibe.
Billy The Kid And The Regulators have been payin’ their dues to bring us the blues for several years now. A strong set such as “I Can’t Change” is a sure bet that good things are ahead for them! Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.