Now I'm Free
September 20, 2019 Release
Bill Scorzari Embraces Slow Songs On New Album 'Now I'm Free': Exclusive
9/16/2019 by Gary Graff
Billboard’s Gary Graff says, Bill Scorzari’s third release, “Now I’m Free,” is “delicately nuanced” with “detailed arrangements.” "...Scorzari had good reason to enjoy the recording process this time around." Billboard features an interview as well as a premiere of the full album.
The Bluegrass Situation
Listen: Bill Scorzari, "Treat Me Kind"
By BGS Staff
Artist: Bill Scorzari
Hometown: Huntington, New York
Song: “Treat Me Kind”
Album: Now I’m Free
Release Date: September 20, 2019
In Their Words: “Knowing I had a good number of sad/slow songs for this record, I set out to write some up-tempo songs to balance things out, and ‘Treat Me Kind’ is the first one that came to me. I could feel some of the old 1970s ‘country rock’ (Marshall Tucker Band, Charlie Daniels Band…) influences from my youth welling up and flowing out and that made writing this song a whole lot of fun. Blue Grass Situation
Bill Scorzari, "It All Matters"
"With a somber musical style and a hushed, gritty vocal that rises like the morning mist to mingle with Erin Rae’s grounded tones, “It All Matters” is just outright pretty. Now I’m Free should be nominated for awards this year with its depth of grace and innovative tones; Scorzari taps into a nexus between the familiar and the uncanny." Americana Highways - Lead Track, Song Premiere of Bill Scorzari's "It All Matters" featuring Erin Rae on harmony vocals.
“Bill tears himself open on these 15 songs and leaves it all out there in plain sight. He is an open book delivering a record of astonishing intimacy… and the gravel and whispers in his voice carry a true knockout punch.”
-- Producer, Neilson Hubbard
"Bill’s sandpaper poetry gets deeper. We were encouraged to stretch on our instruments. This is a fine record indeed."
-- Multi Instrumentalist, Will Kimbrough
Best of 2019 Lists
"Viola Krouse lists her favorite releases for 2019 and they made the list for three important reasons; first, they are damn good, second, the music crossed her record player at some point during the year, and third, they made an impact. The top of the list contains the albums or songs that are sure to stand the test of time. They have been worn through from many hours of replay, some staying in play for many an hour on the road. Viola is a road warrior of sorts who connects with the artists, venues, and people responsible for keeping great music alive. It really does take a village. Thank you for supporting independent artists and the people who make it happen." Making a Scene Presents Viola Krouse’s Best Releases of 2019
Best of 2019 Lists
"Bill Scorzari’s Now I’m Free. There’s an irresistibly compelling quality to Bill Scorzari’s cadence; his syncopated style directly hits an uncanny spot in your heart. And his subtlety both in inflection and lyrics mirrors a profound depth. See for yourself. https://www.
Nanobot Rock June Mixtape Podcast
June 25, 2020
Clay: "...and now we're gonna have something that's just gonna cut you off at the knees... Greg: This track, this song, 'Now I'm Free,' by Bill Scorzari,...this, this song was very difficult for me to try and compile my thoughts for. The reason for that is because, when this track begins, and specifically when he starts singing, you just wanna put everything down and just listen, just experience it, and it was so, so, so difficult for me to try and come up with a structured thought and opinion of this because, I was just monumentally captivated by everything in here, from the silence, to the peaks, the valleys, everything in between. It's just, it was riveting to me in so many ways. Clay: It's funny that you say how hard it was for you because, I first got introduce to Bill Scorzari when he actually reached out to us in 2014 to let us know about his debut album, ‘Just the Same,’ and at the time I wrote exactly that. I’m like, 'What do you say about this album?' There’s no, there’s no words, like, it’s just, it’s one of those, like—'You wanna know what I think about his music?' I just send it to people and I’m like, ‘Just listen to this.’ Like, and that’s it. Like, that’s all there is to it. Like, you, I mean, you summed it up perfectly, it’s just, you put it on and you’re just immersed into his world and his story and his voice that sounds like he’s been gargling shop tools, like, like it’s just so, there’s so much weight to this, and this whole album, he said is just, it’s, the whole thing was written after three years of introspection, he said, ‘I found myself in a place that demanded prolonged introspection and profound healing to be able to navigate through and journey past. This record is a journal of some of the lessons and discoveries that I’ve encountered along the way.’ And, just the imagery that comes from this, the title track, ‘Now I’m Free,’ the album came out in 2019, it’s just, it’s just, heartbreaking and full of incredible sorrow. Greg: The obvious points with any ‘Scorzari,’ is the voice. It’s as identifiable as Tom Waites. It’s got the rasp that, that elevates the lyrics to a whole nother level. The poetic qualities of his style reach well beyond what I would consider any traditional singer-songwriter. It’s, it’s so, it just bleeds with such honesty that, that’s what made really just want to listen. It’s like when you have a moment or an opportunity to just sit down and listen to the stories of someone that is many years beyond you, and you respect them so greatly, that you just wanna hear what they have to say and you want to, you wanna understand their story. Like, you just, you block the rest of the world out to understand it and in a way, I’m not calling him old, but it’s, it’s this, this sense of wisdom I guess, that, that comes with it, that you just want to let it all soak in more so than you would maybe just any other kind of pop or throw-away track that’s on the radio. Clay: It’s a story from someone who’s lived. I think is kind of a way of putting it. Greg: Exactly. That’s a good way to put it. Absolutely. And, when he sings, ‘I’ve never been one,’ ‘I’ve never been one of the lucky ones, but my pride’s all that’s kept me going,” is kind of that, the weariness of someone who’s lived and is just gonna be just brutally honest with you. And I think that ‘Now I’m Free,’ it really delivers on that. And the slightest change in delivery, the exhaustion reflected upon in this track reaches, let’s be honest, it does reach a redeeming end in a sense. There is, there’s hope at the end of this, and kind of a release of ‘Now I’m Free,’ but beyond the rasp, beyond the poetry that is the, the lyrics to this, the analogue recording of this track, there’s a faint, almost rocking chair creak… Clay: Yeah. Greg: …in the background, that it adds to this already intimate sound and paints this picture for me of this lone man sitting on a porch reflecting on things and trying to reach this sense of self reprieve and just this release like, you get up and the routine’s daily, just every day is just this grind and then finally the rocking chair and a cool breeze and now I’m free, it, it does have a redeeming end and that just elevated this immensely for me and brought about a whole ‘nother level of appreciation of this track. Clay: Well, and as I was, you know, doing my research this week, I was surprised to discover that this album was actually recorded as a, they, they basically did it as a live recording. Like, it wasn’t like somebody came in and laid the drum tracks and then somebody came in and laid the guitar tracks. Like, they just all recorded it together in unison. Which, we don’t normally talk about the other tracks, but there’s another track on the album called ‘Yes I Will,’ that’s about eleven minutes long, and they did that on a first take. Just to, it’s just phenomenal. Again, words are failing to encapsule all of this and I just want to, like, this is just one of those like, ‘Go. Listen, to really understand it.' But, I just go back to what you said at the beginning, like, you just, the minute you listen to this you just get immersed in his world, and he does that through his, through his voice, through the way that the song is composed and arranged and just his poetry, like, I mean, the line about, how he ‘stood there by the waterfall flowing from the bridal veil, with an Angel dressed in rags.’ And, ‘She said, ‘To hell you ride,’ and to hell we sailed and we never did look back.’ Like, who writes that? Greg: And with this, and to that sentiment, I think that less is more, and perhaps a little bit longer piece of the track is due right now to kind of bring it full circle, and with the full backing of Nanobot Rock: ‘Bill Scorzari.’ Go check him out and go check out ‘Now I’m Free.’ Nanobot Rock June Mixtape Podcast (Review starts at 1:02:00)
Album Review: Ruminative Originals Highlight Bill Scorzari’s ‘Now I’m Free’
"With his third album, Now I’m Free, 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." Acoustic Guitar Magazine, By Pat Moran
Midwestern Truth From a New Yorker
Singer-songwriter-arranger Bill Scorzari is a deep thinker. His profundity comes in the form of universal truths that are, at face value, easy to understand, but, once you begin to peel off the layers of meanings, they’re mysteries wrapped within an enigma. His self-released third album, Now I’m Free, contains 15 nuggets of crystalline observations of human frailty. Helped along by a stellar cast of musicians to give his ideas fully formed musical beds upon which he grunts, talks, sings, cries, whispers, and hollers, they need a second or third listen to sink in. He’s a native New Yorker but you’d never know it. He sounds like a Midwesterner. He’s thoughtful, and he yearns for that which he knows he cannot have. He’s a poet and he should be heard. The Aquarian Weekly, Mike Greenblatt's Rant 'n' Roll, By Mike Greenblatt
"Bill Scorzari is one of the most impressive troubadour discoveries of the last ‘however many years it has been since I first heard Sam Baker.’ And like Baker, Scorzari simply improves with each release... So intense is the album, one is left drained after spending an hour leaning into its taut verse and majestic melody.... Now I’m Free is presented uncluttered: the focus is on Scorzari’s voice, with the instruments balanced in a manner that never forces unwarranted competition. Kudos to producer Neilson Hubbard. ...Now I’m Free will be on many roots ‘best of’ releases later this year. Don’t wait for those recommendations—locate it now. I believe you will be as impressed as I am. 73-minutes of truth-telling precision." Fervour Coulee, By Donald Teplyske
"Bill Scorzari made me a fan pretty quick 2 years ago when I was lucky enough to become acquainted with Through These Waves, so I was pretty excited to see this 3rd album surface. ...Scorzari’s picking acrobatics and rough vocals (think Tom Waits, Frankie Stubbs and Lemmy Kilmister at a campfire) sound better than ever on this poetic, wise and soulful record that will likely capture your heart by the second track." Take Effect Reviews By, Tom Haugen
Bill Scorzari, Now I’m Free. "... New York–based Bill Scorzari ... seems to have been born to make music, as this third album confirms. Like the songs on his last CD, 2017’s Through These Waves, the ones here are all original, deeply personal and affecting; and Scorzari’s earthy vocals, which are just a bit less sandpapery than Dave Van Ronk’s, drive them home. With any luck, this guy is going places, and chances are, you’ll want to follow along for the ride." Americana Highways & The Morton Report
"I love this album. I’m going on record and naming Now I’m Free as the best album of 2019 and I’ll stand on anyone’s coffee table and say it. Congratulations Bill Scorzari and all the fantastic artists who played on this album. ...There are poets, there are songwriters, there are painters of fine art, and there’s Bill Scorzari. The new album, Now I’m Free is a bold and delicate balance of each. To say it is a thing of beauty is an understatement. The album has played continuously these last few months since crossing my desk. To compare Now I’m Free to the other albums released at this time would be unfair to the industry. Perhaps Dylan or Townes could go toe to toe, but my money’s on Scorzari. He makes me want to be a better writer. His writing is vivid and succinct. ...Neilson Hubbard is quoted as saying, “The purpose of art is to heal”. Now I’m Free is relaxing, healing, or even zen-like in its presentation if you’re so inclined. Bill Scorzari’s hushed vocals are beautifully worn in places. Perhaps by life’s lessons. The lyrics are deep and poetically revealing. The phrasing is melodic. The album is masterfully orchestrated, and the live instrumentation elevates it to an otherworldly experience." Making A Scene - By Viola Kraus
Album Review and Podcast
“This new album simply blows me away, I must say….The lyrics are extremely important and the voice, that gritty kind of a voice... I tell somebody: Bill Scorzari is… you might want to think about Tom Waits a little, but better. I’m not saying that because you are sitting in front of me... I am really drawn to your voice which goes along perfectly with the music that you play. Your vocals and strumming on this guitar are just beyond compare, I have no words for it, honestly... The thing that impresses me is… of course... Is the fact that your voice is very distinctive, there is no question about the fact… that if someone hears this...hears this music, hears your new album, they are gonna know this is Bill Scorzari, because there’s not many people that have this voice and evoke this kind of emotion. The lyrics themselves, when you listen to the lyrics… yeah." Mostly Folk Podcast with Artie Martello - From the 8/25/2019 WIOX FM Radio Catskill's Cafe' Interview and Live Performance
"...with exceptional production from Neilson Hubbard and contributions from among the best roots players in multi-instrumentalist Will Kimbrough, emerging star Erin Rae, ace fiddler Eamon McLoughlin, and master bassist Michael Rinne, to name a few. A songwriter of Scorzari’s caliber deserves and got the best. …Scorzari sometimes narrates his tunes in a whisper and other times in his raw voice that is uniquely his. Heck, Dylan, Waits, Kristofferson, and Sam Baker aren’t blessed with the best voices either but that doesn’t stop us from appreciating their music, and, like those artists, the songs can only be sung by the writer to be fully absorbed. Like them too, Scorzari’s facility with words and poetic flair, instills a calming wisdom and creaks of hope among the dark. ...With Scorzari, one hangs not just onto every word, but just about every breath (which believe it or not, you can hear.) Strap yourself in. This album runs for 74 minutes and it’s so emotionally devastating that it’s almost too much to take in at once. Allow yourself the time. ...To realize this album was cut live in the studio, makes one’s jaw drop to hear the 11-minute “Yes, I Will,” recorded in an unrehearsed first take. ...There may be a handful of songwriters as good as Scorzari but no one else could deliver these stunning songs. It’s even deeper and every bit as good as his last one. Bigger names will get more recognition but Scorzari’s getting there. He did play the Newport Folk Festival this year. He has my vote for Americana Album of the Year." Glide Magazine - by Jim Hynes
"New music and tour dates from Bill Scorzari. Fans of Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Neil Young and anyone who likes quality song writing will dig this..." Live Music News & Review
"Scorzari is a former New York trial lawyer, who has become a full-time musician in recent years. His songs center on the experiences of the human condition, and his lyrics offer a poetic grace mixed with melancholy and hope. DittyTV Senior Editor Tim W. Jackson touched base with Scorzari to talk about his new project in this 5 Questions segment." - Ditty TV
Single Review - "It All Matters"
"The WFMO X Music Savage Show “Song of the Week” spotlight is sharply focused on the beautiful new single from Bill Scorzari titled, “It All Matters,” off the New York-based musician’s upcoming album, Now I’m Free, out September 20th independently. … [Scorzari] released his debut album, Just The Same, in 2014. Three years later he released the critically acclaimed sophomore album, Through These Waves, which is considered by many (myself included) as one of the best of 2017. “It All Matters” is the first taste of music from the upcoming third album and if it is any indication of what’s to come from, Now I’m Free, we are in for a treat." Music Savage WFMO FM Boston MA / Ryan Doyon
Singer-songwriter Bill Scorzari skates in the ether with a sort of Ry Cooder ambient dream. But his voice is absolutely of the earth with its whiskey-borne rasp. Scorzari sings in the folk tradition of those who aren't afraid to jerk a few tears but doesn't mask his intentions or pull any punches. Sometimes the man gets mean. Rochester CITY Newspaper - Choice Concerts
"On September 20, New York Native, Bill Scorzari will release his third full-length album Now I’m Free – wonderfully gruff and oozing with emotion and raw honesty. … A heady brew. Highly recommended." Listening Through The Lens
Like singer-songwriters, Kris Kristofferson, Leonard Cohen, and Tom Waits, Bill’s raspy baritone snarls, hisses, and whispers through his heartfelt lyrics. Sometimes leaving the melody and just speaking the words, he comes off like a modern-day Rod McKuen, sweeping us up in his narratives and wringing out their plaintive content. Bill has three original solo CD’s, Through These Waves, Just the Same, and his latest, Now I’m Free. Like the aforementioned songwriters, each of Bill’s songs feels as though it was wrestled out of the story of Bill’s life and communicate his loves, heartaches, and the shift he has made... sharing his songs with the world. Kathy Bottorff / WTCA 106.1 FM & 1050 AM / Plymouth Indiana
Bill Scorzari Now I’m Free Self-Release
"... Bill Scorzari’s new album is a testament to the stories and tales he tells here, in an often non-linear but encompassing way. Scorzari’s picture on the cover is a reflection of the age-worn voice he has. One that has all the wisdom and fragility of living with the passing of time. Added to that, his voice acts as a focal point to the understated and subtle arrangements which sit behind it.
Producer Neilson Hubbard has gathered a set of players who add a sense of objectivity to the way they play that best enhances the songs. ...Many of these players are artists in their own right and so understand the nature of delivering a song.
Scorzari’s lyrics feature in a prose style in the booklet and are well worth reading. A song like Yes I Will is over ten minutes long and is a lyrical word poem that is both open and introspective. It, along with the other lyrics of the fifteen songs... offer some outside observation alongside inner reflections.
... for those who are taken by such individual sounding voices such as Malcolm Holcombe, Sam Baker or perhaps Tom Waits, then this will likely be something you will rightly savour. Something that will resonate after repeated listens that manages to draw all the creative fragmented elements into a constructive and moving whole. Remarkable even more so that the album was reportedly recorded live. An album to savour anytime it’s given the time and space for listening." - Lonesome Highway, Review by Stephen Rapid
“A superb singer/songwriter with an outlaw rasp and a heavy-hearted soul”--The Ripple Effect
“A stunning work. Bill’s poetic lyrics are a frozen rope to the heart.” --Podcast interview on The Marinade with Jason Earle
'Born of the past three years’ introspection and contemplation of the human condition, Scorzari writes some of his most compelling compositions to date." DreamSpider's Blog
Through These Waves
March 10, 2017 Release
"...once in awhile... just once in awhile...you find one and, man, it's a rush. Case in point, a compact disc by Bill Scorzari titled Through These Waves...Bill Scorzari is a force. His songwriting is stellar, his picking above par and his voice fits his songs perfectly. The album itself is a knockout. ..performances are topnotch all-around...I give this a solid A, top to bottom. I give 'Hound Dog Diggin'' an A+ for the groove alone."
"Bill Scorzari has a lived-in voice that says, 'Listen to these songs.' They spring from the earth and the ocean with an open heart and the wisdom of experience."
John Platt / WFUV
"One of 2017’s best albums so far comes from New York-based Bill Scorzari ... The crisp, organic interplay of both acoustic and electric instruments perfectly frame Scorzari’s weathered, raspy voice that many have described as “singular” or ’idiosyncratic.” Just to give you some clues, head in the direction of Tom Waits or Malcolm Holcombe. Scorzari’s voice is in that neighborhood but still stands apart. And, then there are his thoughtful, cinematically shaped songs that continue to resonate after repeated listens. Yes, this is a “must hear” for singer-songwriter aficionados."
Bill Scorzari – Through These Waves
"Linked here is Bill’s last album which I raced to listen to after previews of an upcoming album titled ‘Now I’m Free’. I’m super excited about the upcoming album and about lost my shit when I streamed through this one released back in 2017. A superb singer/songwriter with an outlaw rasp and a heavy-hearted soul. Seriously looking forward to this."
The Ripple Effect
"Have you ever first heard a piece of music that was so good, you start to wonder if music can ever get any better? Bill Scorzari’s sophomore release is just that kind of album."
"The album highlight doesn't take long to appear, as the secnd tune “A Brand New Deal” combines an upbeat feel with a bluegrassy, mountain-esque feeling and an orchestral backdrop into a perfect execution of playfulness and sophistication, not to mention clever, warm storytelling. I'm not exaggerating when I say that this could be the best song of 2017...Scorzari proves he's skilled at sparse balladry across the entire listen where sincere, gruff tunes like “Shelter From The Wind,” the ever so gentle “More Of Your Love,” and the haunting “She Don't Care About Auld Lang Syne.” These selections resonate with a seemingly basic beauty that runs parallel to the greatness achieved by Sam Beam (Iron & Wine) or Matt The Electrician. Fuller offerings like “Hound Dog Diggin'” and “For When I Didn't See” make full use of the folk, roots, and Americana hybrid that's often prevalent and would be a great companion to The Decemberists' The King Is Dead."
"Scorzari’s songs are consistently profound, poetic, and emotional; and his voice—as gravelly and compelling as Tom Waits’s—is counterpointed beautifully with strings and, on the gorgeous “More of Your Love,” a female vocalist. This is one of the most compelling albums by a little-known artist that I’ve heard in a while."
The Morton Report
"...it's memorable and melodic, and once heard, it leaves the listener breathless and wanting more. Scorzari's an old soul with plenty of circumspect to share and in soaking up the sentiment, he offers plenty of life lessons well worth remembering."
Country Standard Time
"Scorzari’s songs are often about seeking a kindred soul and in that finding solace. There is a poetic grace that makes them worth listening to and reading."
"An album that is serene, uplifting, and powerful, Through These Waves is a gem waiting to be discovered."
The Daily Country
"I'm not sure how often albums as compelling as Bill Scorzari's Through These Waves appear in my life, but I'll take a guess at about once every two years...maybe three... Artists that have this ability are rare--Waits, Dylan, Cohen, and today's John Moreland and Jason Isbell--and aren't musicians so much as world-class poets that happened to pick up a guitar. Again, it's impossible to join this club by only being 99% genuine."
Lonesome Banjo Chronicles
"Scorzari sings, but his version of singing is more of the spoken poetry with a pulsating vibration timbre that Sam Baker has perfected over the course of four albums and innumerable gigs. He connects with listeners by creating soundscapes that reveal descriptions of mood and atmosphere more than character. You listen and think, Yes—I’ve felt that..."
“... he’s a songwriter of the highest order with a three pack a day voice that sounds nothing like that during every day conversation. When he’s on stage though, that voice will make you pay attention to lyrics that can turn a phrase, make you think or make you thankful that there’s someone out there to relate to.”
"...Scorzari has struck gold on what is only his second album, Through These Waves...His style of music occasionally reminds me of Sam Baker, the wistfulness and precise nature of the songs and wondrous beauty, and arguably his greatest attribute honesty the record is one of the finest I have stumbled across in a long time."
Flying Shoes (UK)