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Billy C Farlow is Having Too Much Fun

by Penne J. Laubenthal

Billy C Farlow, blues musician, song writer, and harmonica player who skyrocketed to fame in the early ‘70s with Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, is a force to be reckoned with on the music circuit. Billy C has been out there for over forty years making his music, writing songs, doing performances, and recording albums, but this year he is out there bigger and better than ever.

2007 marked the release of not one, not two, but three double CD boxed sets from BC’s "music and mayhem" years: 1967-1977: Billy C and The Sunshine, Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen: The Early Years, and Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen: Live at the Armadillo and The Capitol Theater. All the CDs are remastered and produced by SPV on BLUE Label out of Hanover, Germany, and they are chock full of great music, not to mention cool photo reproductions and liner notes that are truly collectors’ items. The cd sets will be available on Farlow's website in late January.

The Live CD set features such enduring crowd pleasers as "Wine Do Your Stuff" and "Hot Rod Lincoln" as well as liner notes by Fred James. This double album runs a total time of two hours and ten minutes! The Early Years includes not only the super hit "Hot Rod Lincoln" but three renditions of "What’s the Matter Now" and concludes one of my faves: "Lost in the Ozone." Billy C and The Sunshine is vintage Billy C Farlow—the cover photo is of the band at Berkeley in 1976—and the second CD closes with the signature track "Too Much Fun."

These days Billy C Farlow makes his home on Elk River with his wife of eleven years, Peggy Jones, and their thirteen year old Laborador, Maggie. When Farlow is not traveling in Europe or California, he is playing gigs in the quad state area, and when he is not playing music, Farlow is turning out some knock ‘em dead lyrics. His most recent CD Alligator Crawl, released in 2005 on Globe Records, showcases nine new tunes composed by Farlow. On Alligator Crawl, Farlow teams up with Rich Kirch, lead guitarist for the late John Lee Hooker. Theirs is a match made in heaven with a helluva sound.

A man of many talents, Farlow is also a gourmet cook, and invitations to dine at his table are highly coveted. Farlow brings to the kitchen a refined palate that was honed on the cuisine of the continent not to mention the fried chicken and barbecue of Chicago and the deep south. He swears by his copy of Larousse and both volumes of Julia Child’s The Art of French Cooking.

Now, who would think a man this busy would have time to write his autobiography? Well, get ready for a big surprise because he is working on the final draft of Too Much Fun: A Life of Music and Mayhem and it smokes. I know, because I have read the manuscript. For those of you who cannot wait to read it, Swampland will soon be featuring excerpts from the book. Meanwhile, you can read classic Billy C Farlow prose in the liner notes to Billy C and The Sunshine and Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen: The Early Years.

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