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Bill Scorzari Independently Releases
The Crosswinds of Kansas
August 19, 2022

First Single I-70 East Available Now at Spotify,Amazon, and Apple

The Musicians:
Bill Scorzari, Brent Burke, Cindy Richardson Walker and Marie Lewey a/k/a The Shoals Sisters,” Chelsea McGough, Danny Mitchell, Eamon McLoughlin, Fats Kaplin, Juan Solorzano, Kyle Tuttle, Matt Menefee, Mia Rose Lynne, Michael Rinne, Neilson Hubbard, Ty Allison, Will Kimbrough 

Co-Produced by Scorzari and Hubbard,
The Crosswinds of Kansas Was
Recorded in Two Locations:
First Thunder Recording Studios by Scorzari in Huntington, NY
and Skinny Elephant Recording by Engineer Dylan Alldredge in Nashville

HUNTINGTON, NY — “New York-based singer-songwriter Bill Scorzari transcends titles like songwriter or poet. He catapults past categories into a dark, ruminative, and ultimately life-affirming realm where family folklore, memories, pain, prayer, and incantation meet,” says Acoustic Guitar. Scorzari, a prolific songwriter, has taken his craft to new heights and deeper depths with his 4th studio album, The Crosswinds of Kansas which will be independently released on August 19.

Much of The Crosswinds of Kansas was inspired by his three-month-long Now I’m Free Tour in 2019—which had become a journey of self discovery, with Bill ultimately arriving at a new awareness and desire to adapt and continue to create. He had made his way from the east coast, toward, and around the west coast and back, traveling under two full moons, visiting waterfalls, hiking, climbing, pondering and processing his life experiences of loss, gain and change, and at times composed haiku as a way to pass the time on the long drives between performances, until the tour came to an unexpected early end when Bill learned of the sudden decline in the health of his then 94 year old mother back home in NY.

Bill started his four-day drive home back east from California; when he got to Kansas on the second day, the winds were blowing so hard North and South across I-70 East that he had to fight the steering wheel for hours just to keep his car going straight down the highway. He stopped in Hays, KS for the night and woke up the next morning with a sore neck and arms from wrestling those tenacious crosswinds the day before. The following lines came to him while he was driving, “Then, came the crosswinds of Kansas unleashed, and it pushed me hard, north and south, all down I-70 east… As I tore home to my mother, before her health, it would fail, at 94, I felt another love leaving me lost, like a nail in a cross.”

Bill says, “When I wrote ‘I-70 East,’ I immediately knew that it was going to be the first track on this new album, even before I wrote the others, and when you cue up this record, it’ll be the first song that you hear when the music begins.” “I-70 East” is the first single to be released and is available now to stream or purchase → https://billscorzari.hearnow.com/i-70-east. Americana Highways premiered the music video for the song and says, “He’s captured such pain. And the beauty of a Rose.”

After arriving back home in NY and securing 24-hour care for his mom in late 2019, Bill took a deep breath, and began to write. Some of the songs were new creations and some were reworkings of songs from his back catalog which also fit well within the themes and moods of what was becoming the new album. He spent the early days of the Covid lockdown finishing the songs, gathering the right instruments to fit the music, and building out his studio—First Thunder where he recorded much of the album. All the while, he continued to share time with his mom daily, until she passed at home on Christmas Day 2020 with Bill and family at her bedside, less than seven weeks before her 96th Birthday. 

With Scorzari drawing inspiration from a full palette of moods and emotions, the 13 original tracks on The Crosswinds of Kansas have many stories to tell— some confront the darker emotions head-on. Bill says, “I found that a lot of the songs on this record wound up having an upbeat feel, even when the lyrical content wasn’t necessarily upbeat, or at least not primarily or entirely so. It’s a very satisfying thing when that happens, like positivity shining through and prevailing over our struggles with adversity.”  

Scorzari recounts a hard tale of the destruction of a relationship in the rootsy “The Broken Heart Side of the Road,” while “Multnomah Falls” weaves a chronicle of a rainy day’s hike into an account of the trials of change and transcendence set to cascading mandolin lines. The orchestral “Oceans In Your Eyes” recounts a perilous navigation through an enchanted captivation, and a wistfully nostalgic “Patience and Time” haunts with lyrics, “… and I don’t think there’s anything that’s ever been as ‘this much’ on my mind. And with each day that’s passed I’m holding fast to patience and time, ‘cause nothing can outlast patience and time.”

Nostalgia is revisited in the hypnotic “Try, Try Again” and “Not Should’ve Known” presents a combination of uncertainty and prescience with its lyrics, “I’m just waitin’ for the courage to accept what I can’t change. Still, I can’t help but worry ‘bout how sometimes things turn strange and how with every situation that confronts me to my core, there comes a realization that I seem to have had beforewhat if I knew, and not should’ve known?” 

With the electric-guitar-driven opening track ”I-70 East,” the transcendent “All Behind Me Now,” the uplifting “1, 2, 3, Jump,” the fast-moving acoustic jam of “A Ghost, My Hat and My Coat,” and the rhythmic, semi-autobiographical, sound-collage that is “The Measure of a Man,” Scorzari achieves a beautiful balance in this new collections of songs.

Bringing a mix of contemporary and Indigenous instruments, “Inside My Heart” opens with the bell chime of a Tibetan singing bowl, a cluster of claw-hammer banjo notes and a Native American flute flourish, while the intriguing backstory of the making of the album finds Bill learning his lyrics in Navajo from a Navajo flutemaker named Ty Allison and his friends, and recording those lyrics, and the two flutes made by Ty, onto the final track, “Tryin’, Tryin’, Tryin’, Tryin’.” 

Bill says of learning Navajo, “It was an incredible honor for me. Beyond words. I’m also going to very candidly say that it was, however, no small task, and something that I would not have been able to do without the patient teaching, support and encouragement by, and friendship of Ty, Caleb and David. It is a connection that I will always cherish.”

The album was recorded in two locations—beginning in 2020 at First Thunder Recording Studios in Huntington, NY, by Scorzari during the Covid outbreak and through the continued lockdown into 2021, and continuing at Skinny Elephant Recording in Nashville, TN, by Engineer Dylan Alldredge in 2021 and again in 2022. 

Acclaimed record producer, film director, film producer, singer-songwriter, and photographer, Neilson Hubbard joined Bill as Co-Producer during the Nashville sessions, and also played drums and/or percussion on all of the tracks. Bill says, “Neilson has, among many other things, produced records for Mary Gauthier, Sam Baker, Kim Richey, and others, and his musical and production sense is spot on, and it appears to be effortlessly so. The man has a gift, and I am so very grateful for his friendship and for his many great talents which he has shared with me over the past several years.”

The musicians who joined in for the recording of The Crosswinds of Kansas include the following folks who, along with Scorzari and Hubbard, make up the band’s core: Michael Rinne [Willie Nelson, Rodney Crowel, Jack White, Miranda Lambert] brings his impeccable musical sense and technique on upright and electric bass as the perfect foundation for these new songs; Danny Mitchell [Miranda Lambert] played Hammond B3 Organ and Piano on this record with a masterfully cinematic approach; Fats Kaplin [John Prine, Jack White, Nancy Griffith] added his richly melodic and rhythmic sensibilities playing pedal steel guitar, fiddle, and viola; and Juan Solorzano plays electric, slide, and baritone guitars with flawless technique and heart wrenching phrasing.

Bill Scorzari. Photography by Jacob Blickenstaff 

Additional players joining in on several tracks during the summer 2021 Nashville sessions include Matt Menefee [Bela Fleck, Dan Auerbach, Ricky Skaggs] AKA “Matt, TheBanjoPlayer” on banjo; world class Dobro player Brent Burke [Rhonda Vincent and The Rage]; the multi-talented Will Kimbrough on mandolin; accomplished cellist Chelsea McGough; acclaimed banjo player Kyle Tuttle; and gifted vocalist Mia Rose Lynne on harmony vocals. 

Later, in September of 2021, Bill returned to Nashville to work with Dylan on the final mixes. But before doing so, he brought in a few other stellar musicians to wrap up the final recordings including Eamon McLoughlin [Staff Fiddle Player at The Grand Ole Opry, Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell] who played violin on 2 songs, and the incomparable Marie Lewey and Cindy Richardson Walker [AKA The Shoals Sisters] who sang backing vocals on 4 songs.

In early 2022, Bill recorded some backing vocal and harmony vocal tracks for the song, “Tryin’, Tryin’, Tryin’, Tryin’” at his studio in New York. For the final piece to complete the record, he asked Ty to send him a short cell phone recording of himself singing a Navajo chant, which Bill edited to make it sound like a historically older recording before adding it in at the end of the song. It’s also the very last sound on the album. Bill says, “When I was done and listened back to it, the song (and the album) felt complete, and the history it has gathered is abundant and beautiful.”

Bill says, “For me, the journey that had begun in 2019 (and in many respects, much earlier), became a journey into the depths of my soul, not just in a nebulous aspirational or conceptual sense, but in its fruition, and this album is a record of many of the ways in which it has all unfolded for me so far. I’m grateful for the opportunity to have occupied my time with this effort and for the opportunity to continue to participate in the dance that is life, through this pandemic and beyond.”

He continues, “It has been an arduous and relentless trek to the ultimate discovery that we are here simply to dwell in the experience of being human and to come to know that wherever that experience may take us, and to whatever heights or depths we may rise or fall in it, it is all nothing less than an unspeakably generous and miraculous gift of life and great love.”

More about Bill Scorzari: 

Bill Scorzari is a New York native, with a richly raspy voice and a stellar ear for lyrics and composition. At a later age, he transformed his life as a New York Trial Lawyer, to a new life as an accomplished, full-time musician. To date, his discography includes four full-length albums: Just the Same (2014), Through These Waves (2017), and Now I’m Free (2019)—-all independently released to critical acclaim.

Through These Waves landed on many Top-Ten-Albums-of-2017 lists including Folk Alley and Elmore Magazine, with Elmore saying, “…this is a must hear for singer-songwriter aficionados.” More recently, Now I’m Free was premiered by Billboard, with an exclusive interview by Gary Graff who described the album as “delicately nuanced” with “detailed arrangements” and Glide Magazine’s Jim Hynes wrote, “Like them [Dylan, Waits, Kristofferson, and Sam Baker] too, Scorzari’s facility with words and poetic flair, instills a calming wisdom and creaks of hope among the dark.”

More information can be found at: www.billscorzari.com.

Pre-order The Crosswinds of Kansas at https://billscorzari.hearnow.com/the-crosswinds-of-kansas

Album Art & Design by Anna Berman

www.billscorzari.com

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Thorough and fun interview with Larry Keel by NICK HARRAH For The Herald-Dispatch in Huntington. Nick also wrote a great review of Keller & the Keels “Thief” as well. Check out the album review here.

Below are long excerpts from the interview:

The holidays are a time for being thankful, being with family and friends and maybe doing some charity. It’s all these things too for flatpicking guitar master Larry Keel.

Talking over the phone the day before Thanksgiving from the mountains of Southwest Virginia, Keel, like many others this time of year, talked about being home for the holidays; thankfulness, charity and family came up right away.

Talk about progressive-yet-traditional bluegrass, touring with his wife and bassist Jenny Keel, and an insurance policy on his near-iconic beard, also came up.

Keel, with his band, Natural Bridge (Jenny Keel: bass/vocals; Mark Schimick: mandolin/vocals) and the help of his brother, his old friend Will Lee, are playing more than a few charity events over the holiday season.

Supporting causes ranging from a domestic violence shelter, to Toys For Tots, to a no-kill animal shelter benefit at the end of the month with his longtime friend and collaborator, the Fredericksburg, Va.-based “one-man jam band” Keller Williams, for Keel, already established as a kind of bluegrass deity for his fiery pickin’, it’s great to lend his music to great causes.

“It’s wonderful,” Keel said of playing the various benefit shows. “I really want to do as many of those as I can each and every year. It’s just special. I’m just extremely blessed and fortunate to be able take what I do and translate that across to people who are in need this time of year.”

Playing with Williams, whether it’s covering other people’s songs on “Grass” and “Thief,” or having Williams produce Keel’s 2009 record “Backwoods,” or playing some dude’s couch like they did for a contest this year, is always great, Keel said. Learning and playing a few of the 13 cover songs on “Thief” was a fun challenge for Keel.

“He picked out all the tunes and showed us versions of ’em and we got his arrangements down and went out and performed ’em,” he said. “A lot of the songs I’d never heard the original versions of, like (Marcy Playground’s) ‘Sex and Candy.’ We’d go out and play ’em and people would be singing along and I’d be like ‘I guess I’m the odd man out.’ I didn’t even know any of the words,” Keel said laughing. “We just had a great time being spontaneous.”

The most immediate shows were set to be ones with his older brother Gary, and Larry talked about the early influence on him.

“He bought me a guitar when I was 8 years old, and taught me how to play melodies and rhythm guitar and all that,” he said. “After all these years, getting to get back together to play shows with him over the holidays, it’s one of the most special times of the year for me. It’s super special.”

Talking about his exposure to progressive bluegrass and his incorporation of that into his love of traditional bluegrass, Keel explained how it all came together.

“Well, you know, I’ve always loved bluegrass, that’s definitely always been the heart and soul of my music,” he said. “But from an early age I’ve liked all kinds of music. From jazz to reggae to blues and rock and roll, of course. I guess listening to it so much and loving all those different styles, it just kind of crept into my music. Kind of infected it, in a good way, you know?

“I just love every kind of music. Well, most of it. This new country or new rock developed for record sales, it just doesn’t have a heart or a soul.”

Keel and Natural Bridge are joined by Keel’s old friend Will Lee from Keel’s first band, Magraw Gap, formed in the early 90’s.

“Will has come back out on the road with Natural Bridge and will be at the V Club show and at 123 as well,” he said. “We’ve been really excited about that. Will and I have been playing music together for 25 years or more, and there’s a great chemistry there; we read each other really well.”

New music is on tap for Keel and Natural Bridge in 2011, Keel said. The band will be releasing digital downloads of new songs off Keel’s website. And as Keel brings his bluegrass into the digital age, and as the fans change the way the industry works, Keel changes with them.

“It seems like a lot of the bands and the music industry itself has changed so much, just in the last five years,” he said. “People aren’t buying CDs like they used to; people all have iPods or a computer and can pick their favorite four songs off a record for 99 cents apiece. So we’re getting on that train. On my website we’ll have a whole page dedicated to 99 cent downloads where I’ll be releasing a new song every 30 days or so. So we can take our time with, produce correctly and release the real version we want to release, so we can have something fresh out there.”

And as Keel keeps putting his own contemporary spin on traditional bluegrass, looking back, he realizes making music is what he was bound to do.

“I heard a quote one time, some musician once said they can’t see themselves doing anything else,” he said. “It’s what I’ve always known I wanted to do.”

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE: http://www.herald-dispatch.com/life/x846271976/Larry-Keel-brings-band-to-the-V-Club-to-support-various-charities?i=0

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Here’s fun blurb about Larry Keel & Natural Bridge’s upcoming show at the V-Cub this Friday!

by DAVE LAVENDER, The Herald-Dispatch

A Friday night bluegrass blast

Burn away winter’s frost with the red-hot picking of Virginia flat-picker Larry Keel and his band Natural Bridge, who are blowing into the V Club, 741 6th Ave., Huntington at 10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10.

Keel has had a heck of a year dropping a new CD, “Thief,” with long-time buddy Keller Williams in the spring, and then touring all over the country at some of the country’s biggest festivals with Larry Keel and Natural Bridge, Keller and the Keels, Keel and Adam Aijala, Jeff Austin and The Keels, Magraw Gap, and other interesting collaborations.

Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door. Go online atwww.vclublive.com/tickets.php for tickets or call 304-781-0680. Read an interview with the great bearded guitarist in Thursday’s Herald-Dispatch Lifesection.

READ THE ORIGINAL POST HERE:http://www.herald-dispatch.com/entertainment/x885909916/Smorgasbord-of-music-on-tap-for-Tri-State

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March 03, 2010 @ 10:35 PM

DAVE LAVENDER

The Herald-Dispatch

www.herald-dispatch.com

Photo courtesy of Ken Bloch Photography Mark Schimick, left, and Larry Keel

Snow piles have melted away, the calendar has turned the page to March, so the heck with waiting ’til May. Larry Keel is starting festival season right now.

Keel, the festival favorite flat-picker who’s burned up the stage with everyone from Yonder Mountain String Band and Keller Williams to the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Tony Rice, brings his red-hot band, Natural Bridge to the V Club, 741 6th Ave., for a Friday night hoe-down.

Cover is $10 or $13 day of the show to see Keel, who will be joined by Natural Bridge (Mark Schimick on mandolin and vocals, Jason Flournoy on banjo and vocals, and his wife Jenny Keel on upright bass and vocals).

Keel said he’s been holed up this winter writing lots of songs, recording a new CD with his longtime buddy, guitar master Keller Williams, and just waiting on spring.

“I’ve been snowed in and snowed in and snowed out,” Keel said laughing about trying to make it to shows from out of his southwest Virginia mountain home during the maw of the winter. “We went down to Florida during the week and it started snowing down there, and get home and it was snowing again, and we’re going to West Virginia and it’s snowing again.”

A little cabin time hasn’t been a bad thing though, Keel said. Natural Bridge has been holed up, getting tight and ready to unleash the party with their festival friends.

“Schimick and ‘Deep South’ Jason Flournoy we’ve been having a wonderful time and we’ve been working on a lot of new music and they’ve been working on a lot of new music and so we’ve had a little more time to do that,” Keel said. “We’ve got some fresh music and are ready to come in there and wind it up and get wild.”

Keel, who’s been a festival favorite at Sunshine Daydream, Hookahville and the Appalachian Uprising in our region, said there’s something special about coming around the Mountain State to play.

“There’s so many good folks there we love all you folks in West Virginia,” Keel said, “We got started up there a while ago with the Davisson Brothers and we did a lot of hang-time with them and a lot of fishing and eating good and playing music and raising hell and that’s a beautiful thing. There’s a wonderful kind of hospitality with just a lot of the folks and promoters and it seems that West Virginia is brimming with music lovers and artists and that enclave.”

Keel, who has traipsed around the country with everyone from Adam Aijala (of Yonder Mountain) to Rice, said although he travels everywhere to play his new-grassed mountain music, there is something special about these Appalachian Mountains.

“I don’t think the people not from the mountains understand,” Keel said. “It’s my home and it was what I was pushed out of and what I’ll be put back down into. I think a lot of people pride themselves in that and it’s part of that majestic thing of the mountains.”

Keel said he’s very much looking forward to festival season.

For the first time in its 9 year history, he won’t be coming to the Tri-State’s largest jam festival, Appalachian Uprising in Scottown, Ohio.

He does have nearby festival gigs at Hookahville #33 up in Ohio, and DelFest over in southern Pa.

Keel said he was tore up hearing about the loss this winter of John Kevin “Trip” McKlenny, the founder of the Terra Alta, W.Va.-based Sunshine Daydream festival grounds. Trip, a long-time friend of the Keels, was buried last week after a two-year bout with liver cancer.

“I can’t even imagine how many times we’ve played up there, it’s been for years, really, and we’ve played with so many different combos,” Keel said. “One of the first times was with Leftover Salmon and the last time we played up there it was with Tony Rice and that was really a special one. Trip’s really done a lot for music up there and he was a good, good fellow and we’re going to miss him. The older you get the more you lose and you see a lot more loss. The spirit of that fellow will live on because he did a lot for folks and cared a lot about people.”

This year for festival season, the Keels will be releasing a new CD with long-time friend and oft-musical-touring partner, Keller Williams.

“We’ll have a brand new Keller and the Keels CD by June and it’s going to be really hot, it’s on fire,” Keel said. “I’m waiting on a copy right now, just to check it over. We’re super excited about it. I can’t disclose any more info about it other than to stay tuned to his website and mine.”

In addition to the new CD, the Keels have had their web site revamped, and Keel has also launched a new web site that encompasses two of his life’s loves — Fishin and Pickin — with his fishing buddy Shannon Wheeler, a local fiddle player and fishermen who works at the local Gander Mountain, outdoors store.

“I got so many hard-core fishing buddies everywhere I go that have developed over the years and they all love music and fishing and we just started talking more and more and so we have started this web site that has pictures and videos and news from the picking world and the fishing world,” Keel said.

Keel’s already gotten submissions from such musical friends as Aijala, who was down in Central America fishing, as well as Taj Mahal, and others.

Keel, who was known at the nearby Appalachian Uprising for his stage-filling jam that would pack the stage with a dozen or more pickers, said life just is better when you open yourself up and share in the music and good times both on stage and off.

“With me and Adam it’s just the guitars and doing our thing and doing some really cool freaky material and it is just so comfortable and that’s the way the music should be,” Keel said. “There shouldn’t be no hidden agenda just really soulful playing and writing and getting down to business. It is the most serious blessing of the whole thing. I grew up being so inspired by seeing and hearing all of these players like Sam Bush and Tony Rice, and even a lot of names you don’t hear or have never heard of, so it is like full circle for me to now get to stand in that circle with them and make music and trade riffs and feelings off of each other. It is the most amazing thing and I can’t believe it is happening sometimes.”

If You Go:

WHAT: National-act acoustic artist, Larry Keel and Natural Bridge

WHERE: The V Club, 741 6th Ave., Huntington

WHEN: 11 p.m. Friday, March 5. Show starts at 10 p.m. Doors open at 8 p.m.

HOW MUCH: $10 advance or $13 at the door

CONTACT: Call 304-552-7569 or go online at www.vclublive.com orwww.myspace.com/wvvclub

HEAR SOME KEEL: Go online at www.myspace.com/larry keel to hear a batch of original songs from Keel and Natural Bridge, including “Diamond Break,” a tune Keel wrote after Hurricane Katrina about one of his favorite music cities, New Orleans.

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