Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Roland Billner - Bille Goes Into The Shadowsdotdotdot
artworkRoland Billner played professionally from 1969 through 0980, then set aside his guitar for other things until 1998. In Roland's own words, "This is just made for fun, not for sale in any means." Well, I have to say this is better than many a Shadows inspired CD I've heard. The playing is very strong, understated more often than not. The arrangements are very respectful of the Shadows, but also most often different enough to set them apart from the crowd.

It's not usual to find home projects with such emotion and energy. Included is a full vocal version of "The Young Ones."
Picks: Apache, Sleepwalk, Man OF Mystery, Scarborough Fair, Shadoogie, The Savage, You Don't Have To Say You Love Me, Mustang, Dance On, Foot Tapper, I Saw Her Standing There, How Deep Is Your Love, Kon Tiki, Frightened City

Track by Track Review

Apache dotdotdot
Shadows Style (Instrumental)

This is a very fine version of "Apache." The sound, while based on the Shadows, is a little less stylized than that usually implies. The sound is cleaner and less echoed. Really good.

Sleepwalk dotdotdot
Shadows Style (Instrumental)

This is among the better covers of sleepwalk that doesn't use a lap steel or bottleneck guitar. Very pretty and delicate.

Man OF Mystery dotdotdot
Shadows Style (Instrumental)

This lies pretty close to the Shadows' original, except the acoustic guitar stands out. Well phrased and reverently played. The break is not the same, so it adds freshness.

Scarborough Fair dotdotdotdot
Shadows Style (Instrumental)

Simon and Garfunkle's poignant song is richly and beautifully turned into a fluid emotional instro. Stunningly pretty.

Shadoogie dotdotdot
Shadows Style (Instrumental)

This guitar boogie romps with precise fun and excitement. The rockabilly roots show brightly through this shadowy trip through the countryside. Quite nice.

The Savage dotdotdot
Shadows Style (Instrumental)

Sounding very close to the original, this track is a labor of love for sure. Rich guitar tone and more subtlety in the mix than the Shadows of this period usually got.

You Don't Have To Say You Love Me dotdotdot
Shadows Style (Instrumental)

Orchestral and all... this cover of the gushy MOR hit is very smooth and lush.

Mustang dotdotdot
Shadows Style (Instrumental)

The watchword here is delicate... oh, it rocks alright, but the precise clarity sets it apart from others. Very tasty.

Dance On dotdotdotdot
Shadows Style (Instrumental)

Probably my favorite Shadows tune, "Dance On" magnificently played, with rich textures and reverence, but with the addition of acoustic guitar and dual-lead work, it ranks as one of the best covers I've heard.

Foot Tapper dotdotdotdot
Shadows Style (Instrumental)

My other fave from the Shadows is very nicely cut, with a solid Stratocaster sound and delicate picking. It's less powerful than many other covers, but the masterful playing and balanced mix make it shine.

I Saw Her Standing There dotdotdot
Shadows Style (Instrumental)

The Beatles' primitive pop song is transformed into a rich guitar tune... The lead is a little low in the mix, giving a restrained yet loud sound... interesting.

How Deep Is Your Love dotdotdot
Shadows Style (Instrumental)

A new age romantic sound floats this MOR song, with a lush synth backing and warm sound, including a chorus.

Kon Tiki dotdotdot
Shadows Style (Instrumental)

Third on my Shadows fave list is "Kon Tiki," often a little too accurately covered. Roland Billner gives it his own tweak on things, and the result is very good. The acoustic guitar adds a delicate warmth, yet allows the electric edge to be retained.

Frightened City dotdotdot
Shadows Style (Instrumental)

A little less intense than the original, Roland Billner none the less capture attention with his fine playing. Solid and precise, and warm.