I bring you warm greetings from the road! Tomorrow starts the sixth week and 7000th mile of the “Now I’m Free“ tour as I head towards my next show in Felton California. This album and everything that came before and after it and is part of its creation, has been a continuing lesson in learning, enduring, healing, change, discovery, adaptability, transformation, acceptance, frustration and growth, in each and all of its stages. And there have been so many stages. It all started and then continued forward with the inspiration for and process of writing each of the songs over the past three years, living with them and performing them as they continued to evolve into their best expressions of their full and often fluid meaning, choosing which songs would be in the final group of tracks selected from among other songs that also could have made it onto this record, considering the arrangement of instruments and Musicians who would perform for the recording sessions, zeroing in on the production aesthetic and the logistics and execution of the recording process and engineering, arriving at the studio and allowing the emotions, creativity and performances to happen and flow in their own way and on their own course as each of the songs came to life and was captured as a snapshot in time, then putting all of the recordings together into a sequence that allows each of the songs to breath in its own space and convey its meaning in its best light in relation to the tracks before and after, putting the final sonic and timing touches on the music through mastering, creating and developing the concepts for the promotional videos, photography and the graphic visual art for the CD cases, LP jackets and inserts, performance posters, social media posts and more, then getting it all encoded, manufactured, downloaded, uploaded, delivered and distributed to publications, reviewers, interviewers, radio stations and streaming platforms for “the roll out,” with written biographies and introductions for the first and later listens, for the premieres and for the official release, developing a planned tour route and sorting through the scheduling and human logistics for booking performances in the cities and towns along the way, then packing and loading it all up and starting the long drive up, down and across the country and eventually back, through amazing landscapes to sometimes spectacular and sometimes humble and humbling places, sights and experiences never before seen or had, and, with every performance along the way, reliving each emotion and moment in time that led to the creation of each song, and being blessed with the opportunity to share that with each new audience and, night after night, having memorable people explain to me intimately how a particular song or songs resonated with them and an experience they’ve had in their own lives and what it means to them to have those experiences awakened and touched by and through these songs. It is a truly beautiful thing to be able to do this and I am so very thankful for all of you that I have met along the way. For this record and for all of the experiences surrounding it, I’ve chosen the image and imagery of the dragonfly as a symbol for the learning, enduring, healing, change, discovery, adaptability, transformation, acceptance, and growth that surrounds this record. To my amazement, that symbol has appeared many times on this path (including in the artwork hanging in the rooms and lobbies of a hotel in upstate New York and on the sides of the city buses in Everett Washington and other places). What I’ve also found is that people, literally everyone, everywhere, are struggling with change that has affected them in profoundly life altering ways and that we are all simply seeking understanding and compassion as we search for a clear path forward. Let’s always remember that, and to always be kind to one another. Im looking forward to meeting you Felton! Peace. Bill S.
Yesterday was the official release date for my 3rd album, “Now I’m Free,” and I am so excited to finally get this one out into the world! I have poured so much emotion, time, and effort into writing, recording, and releasing these songs, and now performing them live across the country, and it has been an amazing experience hearing from the audiences how the music is resonating with them in such positive and healing ways. And, yes, “It’s the way you look at where you’ve been that takes you where you are,” and right now I can see that, deep down, when all is said and done, processed and understood, I have passed through the storm and come to a clearing, and it’s a good feeling to be in this particular place, at this time. This is where I do belong and, right now I’m especially proud to be doing this and am looking forward to the rest of the upcoming live shows! I have a few in Washington, and then more in Oregon, and California before heading back to Colorado and all through Texas. After that I’ll start making my way back east from there, towards New York, with more stops to come along the way in TN, KY, VA, NC, DC and beyond. To my great comfort, at almost every turn since the creation of this album and throughout this tour, there has been someone who has given me an immeasurable amount of support when it was most needed. You all know who you are and how grateful I am for you! The truth is that it would have been incredibly difficult to have come this far without you all being there for me, and I am so very grateful for you. Let me say that again: I am so very grateful for you!!! Performing at the Newport Folk Festival on July 26 of this year was a surreal experience. Very truly a dream come true. Receiving so many wonderful reviews of the album, a full album premiere by Billboard, and song premieres by The Bluegrass Situation and Americana Highways, has also been so humbling and positively affirming. I have put so much passion into this record. All one can really ask for is another’s willingness to listen. So again, I thank you all for listening. So, here I am writing this from a Subaru dealership in Marysville, Washington, where I’m getting an oil change and a tire rotation now that I’m about 5,700 miles into the tour. I hope to see you at the show in Everett, WA tonight and at the shows to come! When I get back to New York in November I’m hoping to spend some time writing some new music. I’ll be looking at things from a different perspective now and I’m excited to start it and to be able to share it with you when it’s done! Stay tuned for more good things to come! All the best, Bill S.
It's been an incredible weekend Folks! Playing Newport Folk Festival was just absolutely amazing! I can't think of any higher honor or greater privilege than to have been included as "One of the folk," asked to perform at such an historic and iconic event. This is truly a time to savor and remember. I send my heartfelt thank you out to Chris Funk of the Decemberists for including me in this year's line up and for making this experience so enjoyable. I am humbled by the greatness of this festival and especially by the warmth and friendship of all of the folks who work so passionately to make the magic that is NFF happen year after year. Thank you! <3 -B
June 28, 2019 marks the turning of an old page. On to new pages now folks. The greater things are right there waiting in the turning.
Wow, I am so excited to be able to announce that I'll be performing at this year's Newport Folk Festival as part of "For Pete's Sake" on the museum Stage on Friday, July 26th. Thanks so much to Chris Funk for including me in this year's line up! If you're gonna be at the Fort this year, stop in and say hello! All the best, Bill S.
See the official NFF announcement at this link: http://www.newportfolk.org/for-petes-sake-2019
It's always great to be in Nashville, and even better to be playing and recording music there with some of the best musicians in town. They don't call it Music City for nothin' folks, but more than that, it's the people you meet there and spend your time with that make it a great place to be. This April/May I spent about three weeks in Nashville and while I was there, a bunch of such folks met with me at Skinny Elephant Recording in Inglewood TN, with Producer Neilson Hubbard and Engineer Dylan Alldredge at the helm. After all was said and done, we had 15 new songs recorded, mixed and ready for mastering in just 11 days. I'm happy to have had Will Kimbrough back, playing electric guitar and mandolin for this one, and on his birthday no less! Will played on my last record too, and its always good to be in his good company and making music together. Brent Burke, who also played on my last record, came back in to add some of his dobro mastery to the mix. There's simply none better folks. 'nough said. Erin Rae also stopped in and sang some beautiful harmony vocals on my new song called "It All Matters." A day or so later, The Americana Music Association announced Erin's nomination for Best Emerging Artist of 2019! If you haven't already, then when you hear her, you'll know why. Eamon McGloughlin also came in and put some of his very fine violin/fiddle work on these new songs (Eamon also played on my last record and it was great to spend time with him in the studio again, as always). It's also a great pleasure to have had Mike Rinne (Miranda Lambert), in the studio playin' the dog house and electric bass on this record. It's well deserved that Eamon and Mike have also been spotlighted by the AMA this year, with both of them being nominated for Best Instrumentalist of 2019! I'm truly honored to have them both adding their talents to this record. Neilson Hubbard, in addition to producing this record for me, also added drums and percussion. I can't imagine a better musical fit for these songs. I am so very grateful for Neilson. His performance and his ear for production really make these songs and this record move and come to life. Likewise, the layers and musical textures added by Juan Solórzano (lap steel and electric and 2nd acoustic guitars), Megan McCormick (lap steel and harmony vocals) and Mia Rose Lynne (harmony vocals) are simply amazing beyond words. Truly amazing. All of the songs were recorded live in the studio with minimal to no overdubbing or editing. It was all possible because, each one of these very fine musicians intently captured and then carried the very essence of these songs in their performances without a second thought or moments hesitation. In fact, there is more than one "first take" that will be featured on this album. I can't wait for you to hear how it all so very magically and naturally came together. Look for the new record this August/September and don't forget to check back here from time to time... I've got some more very cool news I'm just waiting to share! All the best, Bill S.
Just a quick check-in from the recording studio while we're here in Nashville, TN... We've got a bunch of new songs recorded already and we start mixing tomorrow! I am so looking forward to sharing this record with you this coming fall! Oh yeah... and I've got even MORE REALLY COOL NEWS to share with you soon! Check back here soon for an update in the days and weeks to come. All the best, Bill S.
OK. So here we go! Starting with this month of April, 2019, I'll be returning to Nashville TN, to start recording my third record with producer Neilson Hubbard. If you've heard Neilson's band, The Orphan Brigade, and any of the records he's produced, then you understand why I instantly knew his creative force and talent would be a great fit for my music. After talking and finding how much we agree on how to approach the music and the process, I am beyond excited to be underway with Neilson at the helm. We’ve also since rounded up a ready cast of phenomenal musicians (a/k/a mighty fine humans) including Will Kimbrough, Eamon McGloughlin, Brent Burke and more. Will, Eamon and Brent all played on my last record, and I can't wait to get back together with them, along with new friends who'll also be joining us in the studio this time around. I think you’re gonna like this one folks! It's been a long time coming and I’m very much looking forward to being able to share it with you when it’s released this fall. We’ve already got a bunch of shows lined up for the national tour that will follow the release, and we'll be adding many more in the days and months to come. So check back here for updates from time to time for a show near you, and I’ll see you on the road this fall! All the best, Bill S
Lots of things are in the works folks and I can't wait to share them with you all. We're putting the finishing touches on the recording studio. There's new music and a national tour on the horizon. As we've been limiting the number of performances to make way for these other things, I can't wait to get back out on the road, which makes me even more excited to be performing music with my dear friend Jonah Tolchin at the 1867 Sanctuary Arts and Cultural Center in Ewing New Jersey on Saturday, February 9th. I hope you will come join us for the show! All the best, Bill S.
So, as we are focusing entirely on all things relevant to getting my next record recorded and released, I am reflecting on what an amazing and deeply gratifying experience it has been for me, to be able to write and perform music for you all across the Country, and to be able to confirm something that I've always already known to be true--that there are indeed, wonderfully good people to be found everywhere you go. I look forward to putting this next record together and getting back out on the road when its all said and done, so I can bring it to your home towns and share with you more of those incredible moments that have made this journey and the people I've come to know along the way, the core strength of my very being. Thank you for being such an important part of it all!