“Sins Of Me,” by Billy Jeter, is a single I have been listening to that I cannot help but be reminded of songs by artists such as Harry Chapin and other folk masters of the 70s when I reflect on the music and the qualities in him as a singer/songwriter. And that is only scratching the skin of what lies bleeding through his soul, but it is a compliment when you are reminded of material like “Cats In the Cradle” before any words even come out. It makes you feel inspired, just as it does with anyone from Bob Dylan to John Lennon.
The influences of Jeter are out of the way now, but completely felt in the best ways possible, and he comes out with a great original that cuts to the bone and heals at the same time. But this is not done without experience, as Jeter does come from Arkansas where the arts are rich with heritage so is the songwriter. Coming from a family of artists he is a son of the Delta. “Sins Of Me” is only one gem in his bag of melodies, but it leads the Shineye album release next spring with just the right amount of intrigue.
If “Sins Of Me” does anything, it greatly inspires to listen to the best folk, country and even blues artists, particularly from the Arkansas Delta area where it is combo of these styles. The storyteller in Jeter is as good as the musician and singer, so for me it only took one listen to stand up and notice this song for what it is. You hear inflections of The Band, but also feel what is coming from Jeter is of his own creation and it is not easy to stand out anymore, so my hat goes off to his words of wisdom in these lyrics.
Jeter plays live all the time and this track has a live in the studio feel as if it were captured in one take, but I would love to hear “Sins Of Me” live to hear how it evolves, or may have already done so before recording it. But that could be a lockdown syndrome thing because of listening to so much music since the beginning of the year, but either way this does hit the spot and provide some reflection Jeter is to credit for with all due respect.
The guitar playing in “Sins Of Me” could be what wins the prize, but it is equally balanced with a deep but not too personal story about the path in which Jeter proceeds to travel down with no regrets as he continues creating and entertaining. If you are not thinking and reflecting after hearing this timeless music, then it is not doing its job, or you are distracted beyond its powers. This is nothing to scoff at, especially when Jeter takes a solo and the slide washes all over the soul and whisps you away, it should pay the price of admission and does.