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Billy Bob Thornton Makes a Decent Album ... and Heads to Memphis


The general derision and skepticism that come with each release of a new CD by a movie star is about as commonplace and expected as liner notes. That built-in dismissal would seem unfair until, say, you sit down and listen to Scarlett Johansson try to sing Tom Waits songs. Then it just makes sense.

Billy Bob Thornton is not only a movie star; he's an Oscar-winning hyphenate — actor-director-writer-musician. As a musician, Thornton isn't a gadfly. In his pre-celebrity years, he was part of numerous bands, including a ZZ Top cover act. Since he's become part of the Hollywood establishment, he's released four solo albums -- the last, Beautiful Door, came out last year.

Those albums are generally forgettable when they aren't achingly awful. Thornton's scratchy, twangy baritone might make him stand out in films, but on record it comes across as smug. That his backing band is playing unfocused, warmed-over '70s arena rock doesn't help matters either.

All of that makes The Boxmasters a doubly sweet surprise ...

Read the rest of the Flyer's take on Billy Bob Thornton's new album and his upcoming show at the Hi-Tone.

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