Where Lights Are Low is Bill’s fourth album recorded at Howlin’ Dog and is a bit of a departure from Bill’s usual broad spectrum of country-folk-Americana featured on his previous albums. This record has been a labor of love for Bill - a tribute to the music he grew up listening to - the late 50’s - early 60’s Bakersfield country of Buck Owens and Merle Haggard, along with some great Texas honky-tonk dance hall music of the same period from artists like Ray Price and George Jones.
Bill says, “When everyone else was listening to the Beatles, I was listening to Buck Owens”, and he has carried those songs and the love of them forward for more than 50 years, finally able to feature his interpretation of them in Where Lights Are Low.
Bill and co-producer Don Richmond brought in some pretty heavy hitters to help with the tunes, especially on the all-important pedal steel - Jaydee Maness, Lloyd Maines, Robert Earl Keen’s steel man Marty Muse, Carmen Acciaioli of Cooder Graw and South by Southwest, as well as Richmond on four tunes. Other guests include the great Earl Poole Ball on piano (Johnny Cash’s piano guy for 20 years), Austin studio staple Paul Pearcy on drums, as well as Bill’s bassists (past and present) Zeke Severson, Dave Toland, and Susan Holmes. Former Nashville studio player Ollie O’Shea handles the fiddle duties, and Bill’s recently retired trio guitarist Bob Goldstein delivers his great trademark Telecaster work. Bill even picks up the Tele on 3 songs, as well as contributing his legendary acoustic work.
All in all, Where Lights Are Low is a tour de force tribute to a great period of American music, delivered as no one else can, through the heart, soul and voice of another true American musical icon, Bill Hearne.