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Michael Lille (photo by Andrea Turner)


Suitable Disguise has the unmistakable resonance of a guy who's all the way there. His guitar playing is so deeply self-assured and so in tune with itself that it propels and leads the elite unit he gathered around himself in his second home of Austin TX, bassist Glen Fukunaga and co-producers Paul Pearcy on drums and Lloyd Maines on guitars, bari-mando, dobro, and lap and pedal steels. George Marinelli's absolutely signature guitar work adorns three cuts, always a stone groove.

But what sets the tone overall is the deep baritone that's telling the stories, of "Don't Have To Love You Anymore," "World Of Hurt" (co-penned with Jimmy LaFave and Dana Cooper, respectively) and an excellent read on Allen Toussaint's "On Your Way Down." He's all the way there as a person, as well, and you can hear that. His love of guitars, Harleys, and women, and of the stories that ripple out from all that and his global family of friends, it's all there.

Other amazing co-writers also appear. Tunesmith Craig Bickhardt shows up on the opener, which promises to be the radio pick, "Can't You Hear The Whistle Blow." The memorable Michael Johnson turns in a remarkable co-write on "Better Brother." Lille's well-known compadres in the popular folk ensemble The Sherpas, Tom Kimmel and Tom Prasada-Rao, share the spotlight, thankfully. Kimmel and Lille wrote "We Surrendered" and TPR co-wrote "The One Who Leaves." All together they composed the closer, "Love Won't Wait." TPR and the aforementioned Dana Cooper are among the many stirring vocalists, including co-writer Diane French, Eugene Ruffalo, the great Ruthie Foster, and two of my favorites, Kristin DeWitt and Sara Hickman (who's interviewed in this issue).

But I love the material that Lille writes alone, too, and two humorous numbers show up here. "Just Another Song" and the hidden bonus track that I'll let you discover for yourself. Once you hear it, you'll never forget it, and you'll laugh every time you think of it.

What need be said is that the cat is a rare prince, and the album is a joy. Check out the amazing read on the Mars Bonfire rock classic, "Born To Be Wild." Highly recommended. 
•  Frank Goodman

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michaellille.com        a previous puremusic review of M.L.

see our interview with Michael (and his gang of Sherpas)

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