I discovered the music of Bill Mallonee and the Vigilantes of Love a few years ago during my undergrad days at Auburn University. It wasn’t long before I set out to get my hands on as many of Bill’s albums as I could find. His sometimes startlingly honest lyrics atop the raw sound of Americana/Alt. Country chord progressions resonated with the deep places of my soul. The music was a constant companion for several years during both good times and bad. Sometimes I even got the chance to ride to Atlanta or Athens to catch a show with some friends. Those were good days. Those days couldn’t last forever though, and like so many fans I was sadened to hear the news that the Vigilantes had disbanded. Bill continued to make music solo but for whatever reason I didn’t follow as closely as before. I was getting ready to start seminary and was spending more time reading and listening to sermons than I was listening to albums. However, when Naomi and I began preparing to move to Kentucky, I realized I would be closer to the parts of the country that Bill regularly toured in, and I hoped to catch a show or two while in the area. To my pleasant surprise a show was scheduled for about a month and a half after we moved here. So, last night Naomi and I went to hear Bill sing. It was a great show and a great night. Bill kicked the evening off with ‘Solar System’, a personal favorite, and played several ‘Audible Sigh’ era tunes as well as some newer ones as well. He has an incredible stage presence and is able to capture an audience with lyrics that demand reflection and a combination of sometimes happy, sometimes sad, sometimes haunting melodies. The evening was topped off by the vocal and piano accompaniment of Bill’s wife, Muriah Rose. The piano was especially moving on ‘Resplendent’. Hearing these songs gave me that experience of getting back to a treasured time in my past to which I had not been in a long time. It feels a lot like going home. I think I’ll start keeping up with Bill’s work again, and I commend it to my readers. It’s some of the best I’ve ever heard (by the way…the above picture is of me and Bill).
Grace and peace,