Big Deal Records has announced the signing of the celebrated American artist, Billy Bob Thornton. Best known for his work as an Academy Award-winning screenwriter, director and actor, it is music that serves as Thornton’s first and greatest passion. Hobo, his brand new album to be released nationwide on September 13, 2005, is Thornton’s third full length release to date. The collection features ten tracks, nine of which are new songs written or co-written by Thornton, that focus on the California experience, offering his own personal accounts alongside profound observations of the Golden State’s people, tempos and landscapes.
“I am very pleased and honored to be associated with a label like Big Deal. They love music and songwriting the way record label people used to,” states Billy Bob Thornton. “I’m very proud of Hobo, and the label gets it. I’d rather sell ten records for people who care, than a million for people who don’t.”
Billy Bob Thornton’s keen revelations and poetic unraveling of California — “the new frontier” — on Hobo exposes startling insights about life in Los Angeles, a city where dreams are achieved, but also crushed. On “The Late Great Golden State,” Thornton warns, “Leave your expectations at the gate of the late great golden state ’cause they can pack you up and send you home in a crate.”
One of the album’s stand-out cuts, “I Used To Be A Lion,” finds Thornton turning inward, musing “I don’t have the pride to hold my head up high and I don’t have the strength to make the kill.” Musically, the songs range from the ethereal Americana of the title track to the hallucinogenic Chicano-flavored rock of “El Centro On Five Dollars A Day.” Thornton recorded Hobo at The Cave, his state-of-the-art home studio in Los Angeles, with his co-producers, Randy Mitchell and Jim Mitchell. At a time when so many albums rehash tired cliches, Thornton’s songwriting is continually pushing the envelope in its search for new and vital means of expression. The results are powerful songs of deeply personal stories and philosophical lyrics that reflect Thornton’s love for life and music itself.
For Billy Bob Thornton, writing, recording and performing music is something he has lived his entire life. He received his first drum kit at age nine and made his first public appearance as a musician by age ten. Throughout the 1960s, he performed in bands across Arkansas and Texas, including the well known, Tres Hombres. Thornton put music aside only temporarily upon arriving in Hollywood to pursue a career in film. However, it wasn’t long before he was jamming with local Los Angeles musicians and once again writing songs. The rest, as they say, is history. Thornton has since received two RIAA gold record certifications, performed on the Grammy Award-winning album, The Wind, by Warren Zevon, performed alongside Willie Nelson, The Allman Brothers Band and Kris Kristofferson, in addition to receiving critical acclaim for his first two albums, Private Radio and The Edge of The World. The Los Angeles Times observed: “If Thornton had tried to make it as a singer-songwriter in Nashville in the early ’70s, he would have surely played the same clubs as Kris Kristofferson. They might have even shared an apartment.” Legendary singer/songwriter Tom Petty declared: “Billy Bob’s music has a style and lean all its own. It can catch you off guard with as much as a word’s inflection.”