Bill Noonan – The Man That I Can’t Be

January 01, 1970

(Catawba City)


There’s no shortage of alt-country posers these days, given
that the genre has become such a popular nesting ground for anyone with rootsy
leanings and a Southern sensibility. 
Happily then, Bill Noonan finds a comfortable fit, due in part to the
fact he’s already so seasoned.  Prior to
going solo in 2006, he led an outfit called the Rank Outsiders, which managed
to carve out a sizeable local following in their native North Carolina before
relocating to Nashville, where the band networked their wares more
extensively.  The lessons learned
impacted Noonan’s solo debut, Catawba
, proving he was well-versed in the ways of Americana and able to
continue to do what he had always done best, namely, to procure his down home
delivery without pomp or pretense.


For some, Noonan’s sophomore set, ironically titled The Man That I Can’t Be, may seem as
though its mining well-trod terrain, even though the majority of the songs are
originals and exceedingly well crafted. 
So if in fact he stays within specific parameters – a compelling cover
of Gene Clark’s classic “Tried So Hard” is not only an apt choice, but a
proviso that assures a fine foundation – Noonan applies such earnest conviction
to his material that his authenticity is never called into question.  He plies honkytonk (“Down Again”), Rockabilly
(“Road 99”), populist folk (“Rambin’ Boy Blues”) and enough down home sentiment
(“Dirty Ragged Blanket,” “The Man That I Can’t Be,” “Southern Song”) to assuage
the country crowd and possibly even lure some new admirers along the way.  Granted, Noonan may not offer anything
especially new along the way, but that familiarity doesn’t negate a favorable


Standout Tracks: “Tried So Hard,” “Dirty Ragged Blanket,” “The Man That I Can’t Be” LEE


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