New York based, singer-songwriter, Bill Scorzari, has shared bills with Billy Strings, Sarah Jarosz, Sam Outlaw, The Dustbowl Revival, Tall Tall Trees, Seldom Scene, Frank Fairfield, Tom Marion, Zak Sokolow, Jonah Tolchin, Jenni Lyn Gardner (Della Mae), Jeff Scroggins and Colorado, Twisted Pine, Whiskey Myers, Big Country and many others. In July of 2019 Bill gave a milestone first-performance at Newport Folk Festival. His music has received critical acclaim, including from Billboard, No Depression, The Bluegrass Situation, Folk Alley, Acoustic Guitar, Americana Highways, Making A Scene and more.
Scorzari’s songs transition through a multitude of emotions and themes centered on the experiences of the human condition. His sound is gritty, raw and at times, downright sad. Of his music, some say it’s spoken word, and others, an amalgam of the voice of Tom Waits, the lyricism of John Mooreland, the delivery of Sam Baker and the soul of Kris Kristofferson.
September 20, 2019 marked the independent release of his third album, "Now I'm Free." On the title track, Scorzari sings, "I've had to walk in the rain. I've had to hide from the sun. When thunder comes, I've got to run from the sky. I'm not tired I'm just low, so, I just want to close my eyes and just be. And you see me caged by my anger and bound by my fear, and with the touch of your hand and the warmth of your breath in my ear, you whisper, 'Darlin', it's time to break free.' And, now I'm free."
Billboard’s Gary Graff says, Scorzari's third album, “Now I’m Free,” is “delicately nuanced” with “detailed arrangements.” "...Scorzari had good reason to enjoy the recording process this time around."
"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
And that "open book" is one that is well worth reading...
On the very day that Bill was born, his dad (a preeminent New York Trial Attorney), met with the Dean of his law-school alma mater, and together, the two friends completed a “mock” application for young Bill’s immediate enrollment as a student of the law. Thus begins chapter one, a long and formative passage in which Bill was at first, destined to follow in the footsteps and ethos of his proud father, and in which Bill graduated from that very same law school and embarked on his own career as a New York trial attorney at the age of 27. The later passing of Bill’s dad and role model in 2012, brought a season of change in which the final page of that chapter was turned, and in which a new chapter began. In this one, Bill takes a giant leap forward, in full-time pursuit of his passion for creating and performing music, a passion also long held in his heart.
For the full story, we flash back to an earlier time. Bill is 8 years old when he picks up and holds his first guitar. It's a nylon string acoustic, a gift from his mom and dad. He later forms his first band with some of the older kids in the neighborhood and plays his first club gig at the age of 13. His musical tastes grow as he explores different genres throughout his high school, college and law school years. In 2008, while a member of a local "Classic Rock" band, he stumbles upon a Live-at-Paste recording of Justin Townes Earle performing “Mama’s Eyes.” The song resonates within Bill's soul and sparks the kind of life-altering moment that you hear a person speak of as being that singular moment when "everything changed."
And everything did change. Bill began writing songs, and with the encouragement of a close friend/local recording engineer, he recorded and released his debut album in 2014, intentionally ironically titled, Just The Same. With that first release, Bill formed a new band and began performing his songs live in New York City and surrounding areas.
Soon thereafter, Bill was introduced to Yep Roc recording artist, Jonah Tolchin. They became friends and later agreed that Tolchin would produce Bill's second record. In November of 2015, they met again at the famed Bomb Shelter in East Nashville. There, together with musicians Joachim Cooder, Kim Richey, Will Kimbrough, Chris Scruggs, Laur Joamets, Eamon Mclaughlin, Brent Burke and more, they recorded, mixed and mastered Bill’s second album, Through These Waves, in just 14 days. The record was released on March 10, 2017, a 10,000-mile national tour began and Through These Waves jumped straight to #1 on the Americana Music Association’s Most-Added-Radio-Stations Top-50 chart in its first week. The album later also landed on many Top-Albums-of-2017 lists, including Folk Alley and Elmore Magazine.
No Depression said, "Bill Scorzari is a force. His songwriting is stellar, his picking above par and his voice fits his songs perfectly."
“Tom Waits or Malcolm Holcombe... Scorzari’s voice is in that neighborhood but still stands apart. …thoughtful, cinematically shaped songs that continue to resonate after repeated listens. Yes, this is a 'must hear' for singer-songwriter aficionados." -Elmore Magazine
One such aficionado, WFUV's John Platt, said, "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.’"
“Artists that have this ability are rare—Waits, Dylan, Cohen, and today’s John Moreland and Jason Isbell….” Lonesome Banjo Chronicles.
Bill's path forward was clear. Numerous performances followed as he wound down his practice of law and continued to write new music. In April/May of 2019, Scorzari joined forces with Artist/Producer Neilson Hubbard and Bill's third release, Now I’m Free was born. Recorded by Engineer Dylan Alldredge, at Skinny Elephant Recording in Inglewood, Tennessee and Mastered by Jim DeMain at Yes Master Studios in Nashville, TN, Now I'm Free, produced by Hubbard, includes performances by Erin Rae, Will Kimbrough, Eamon McLoughlin, Michael Rinne and more. The album was released on September 20, 2019 in the midst of an 11,000-mile national tour and it earned a full-album Premiere and exclusive interview by Billboard, as well as song premiers by The Blue Grass Situation (Treat Me Kind) and Americana Highways (It All Matters). Now I'm Free can be found on many 2019 "Best of" lists, including Americana Highways and Making a Scene, and is available at: → https://nowimfree.hearnow.com
"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. ...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. ...Perhaps Dylan or Townes could go toe to toe, but my money’s on Scorzari." - Making A Scene, By Viola Kraus
"Bill Scorzari scores one of 2019's finest... 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
“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
"Bill's sandpaper poetry gets deeper. We were encouraged to stretch on our instruments. This is a fine record indeed." -Musician / Multi-instrumentalist, Will Kimbrough
“Scorzari sings, but his version of singing is more of the spoken poetry…that Sam Baker has perfected over the course of four albums and innumerable gigs. ... You listen and think, Yes—I’ve felt that…” Fervor Coulee.
“…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.” Medium
Bill says “I could feel some of the old 1970s ‘country rock’... influences from my youth welling up and flowing out and that made writing this song a whole lot of fun.” --The Bluegrass Situation premier of the single, “Treat Me Kind”
“A stunning work. Bill’s poetic lyrics are a frozen rope to the heart.” --Podcast interview on The Marinade with Jason Earle
“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 by Melissa Clarke -- Song Premiere of the single, “It All Matters”
“Like the songs on his last CD... 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.” --The Morton Report, Americana Highways, Jeff Burger
“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. --WTCA 106.1 FM & 1050 AM, South Bend Tribune, Kathy Bottorf
“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, Frank De Blasé
“Fans of Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Neil Young and anyone who likes quality song writing will dig this” --Live Music News and Review, Phil Simon
“A superb singer/songwriter with an outlaw rasp and a heavy-hearted soul” --The Ripple Effect
“Wonderfully gruff and oozing with emotion and raw honesty.” --Listening Through The Lens, Rob Dickens
"Once or twice a year, an album rolls onto the scene that is quickly and widely hailed as a game-changer...musically, the real standout feature on 'Now I'm Free' is Scorzari's voice. His gruff, halting style gives his singing the kind of authentic old-timer crackliness that some male C & W and Americana artists spend half their lifetime trying to acquire--and Scorzari has it in spades... given how heart-wrenchingly sincere, complex, painstakingly crafted an album like 'Now I'm Free' is, it's definitely worth a listen... 'Now I'm Free' is not to be taken lightly. Americana-uk.com
Bill Scorzari is available for performances, interviews, studio sessions and other media opportunities.
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