Album Review: Denny Lile - Hear the Bang: The Life and Music of Denny Lile

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Denny Lile got his first big break in 1987 when a Waylon Jennings cover of his song “Fallin’ Out” became a top ten country hit. Unfortunately though, that first break also proved to be Lile’s last, because by then he had already begun the descent into alcoholism that would ruin his career and marriage. This ultimately led to his death in 1995 at age 44.

This new package, Hear the Bang: The Life and Music of Denny Lile, represents an attempt to garner for the singer-songwriter the recognition that he never received in his lifetime. It combines a CD of music that he recorded at age 21 with a feature-length DVD documentary. The former suggests that while he may not have quite been the musical genius that the latter occasionally proclaims him to be, he deserved much more success than he enjoyed. 

The best of this expertly crafted 16-song country-rock collection sounds like a mix of the finer elements of Mickey Newbury, Jim Croce, and Poco. Highlights like the plaintive title cut and the upbeat “Sugar Daddy” are as indelible as anything those more famous artists produced.

Hear the Bang: The Life and Music of Denny Lile will be available beginning October 16, 2015.

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Jeff Burger (byjeffburger.com), a longtime magazine editor, has written about music, politics, and popular culture for more than 75 periodicals. His books include Lennon on Lennon: Conversations with John Lennon as well as Springsteen on Springsteen: Interviews, Speeches and Encounters and Leonard Cohen…

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