Listening to Transit Byzantium is like rediscovering the feeling behind the folk revival of the ’50s and ’60s. Bill Fox, an accomplished guitarist by his own right, perfectly duplicates the return to simpler forms, ready to be filled with interesting and emotive lyrics, not unlike early Dylan. In fact, on a couple of moments, Fox comes eerily close to sounding like ole Mumbly, voice, guitar, lyrics, all.
Fox also has several of Dylan’s saving graces, namely a quirky ear for melody and a facility for matching music to lyric, and uses them well on here. He also has a few tricks up his sleeve, as in “Sycamore,” which could easily have come from a Guided by Voices album. While most every CD produced from a coffeehouse stage ends up sounding like a continuous 45-minute medley, all the songs here have a unique personality, and Transit Byzantium could teach those tired droners that it takes more than a couple espressos to pep up their act. Spin Art, 580 Broadway, Suite 1105, New York, NY 10012