- Planet Erstwild - 20160326 - Bob Hillman - Lost Soul

San Francisco singer/songwriter Bob Hillman is back with a new album after more than ten years away from the business.

He plays Cafe Paradiso Sat Mar 26 at 8pm with Jason Wallsmith of the Nadas.

After over a decade away from the stage and studio, Bob Hillman returns with the full-length album Lost Soul. The album’s title is ironic in the sense that, with his longtime musical mentor ex-Plimsoul Peter Case at the helm, the San Francisco-based singer/songwriter has found his way out of the creative wilderness. He taps back into literate, tuneful songwriting that defined earlier works like Playing God (1999), Welcome To My Century (2001), and If You Lived Here, You’d Be Home (2006). This time, however, he moves beyond the Americana-leaning folk-rock of his past to embrace a fresh, contemporary sonic landscape; the result is a less crafted, more visceral album.

Hillman and Case bring unique individual and collective histories into this project. The Plimsouls had a regional hit with “A Million Miles Away” in 1983, at a time when Hillman was learning guitar and starting to check out the Los Angeles music scene. In 1989, Hillman experienced an awakening when he saw Case perform a solo show at McCabe’s Guitar Shop in Santa Monica. “Peter played solo acoustic—the classic ‘folk’ construct—but with rock energy,” the singer says. “That was the kind of music I wanted to make.” Cut to the mid-90s, when Hillman—now living in New York—on a whim sent Case, who had just released his album Torn Again, his first batch of demos. Case saw potential and invited him to L.A. to play with him at the Ash Grove on the Santa Monica Pier.

Hillman subsequently embarked on a path to a series of breakthroughs, including two albums produced by Tommy West, who made a bunch of hits in the 70s with pop troubadour Jim Croce and others. He also started picking up higher-profile gigs, including opening for Suzanne Vega at the House of Blues in L.A. and The Fillmore in San Francisco.