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  • Behind the Song

Bill Abernathy


Everyone loves a good story about second-chances, and that’s exactly what Bill Abernathy’s story is all about. The Kansas City, Missouri resident began writing songs in his early teens. He played all through his school years, but then he stopped. Life took over. Bill went about getting married, building a business career, and raising his children. After his kids graduated from school and started their careers, Bill picked up the guitar again and began trying to rekindle his love of music. His last album, 2017’s “Find A Way” reached #5 on the Roots Music Report Traditional Folk Album chart, and the single, “Goodbye Will Never Come Again” reached #1 on the singles chart. Bill’s latest collection of songs, the Roots Music Report Americana chart-topping album, “Crossing Willow Creek” is available now. The first single, “Cry Wolf” reached the iTunes Top 100 Rock Songs chart, while hitting the Top 5 on New Music Weekly’s country chart. The next two singles also received national and international charting. Bill was also a December 2018 Billboard Magazine Emerging Artist. He recently toured the mid-west on his “Living The Dream” solo tour.“ Bill released his latest single, the politically-driven bluesy rocker, “More Than Meets The Eye” in November 2020.


For fans who have never heard your music, can you pick three words to describe it?! If three words just aren't enough then tell us more!!


That is a great question. I am really a storyteller with a guitar. My music is about life experiences that I have had, as well as those experiences relayed to me from friends and fans. My little mantra is, "If you hear a song that sounds like it was written about you, It may have been". Life is challenging as well as a never ending learning process, that is really what my music is about. Regarding genre, I try to write in the musical genre that best exemplifies the story and lyrics in the song. So three words is tough but let say, Life, Love, and Learnings.


What is your favorite part about being an artist? Is it songwriting, performing, recording, something else?) Tell us why.


I really enjoy the whole process. The writing, the composing, the recording, as well as the performing. That said, my favorite part of being an artist is when a fan tells me that something I wrote had an impact in their lives. It may have made them laugh, giggle, cry or just think about things, but if I can have that influence and impact on fans then its all worth it for me.


Can you tell us what being in the recording studio is like for you?


I guess that depends on the work we are doing at the time. Recording guitar parts is always a challenge for me. I don't typically write simple guitar stuff, and do a lot of finger picking so playing the tunes properly and in perfect timing is challenging and can be a bit frustrating and stressful for me. That said when other musicians are working on my tunes it's really fascinating to me to hear their interpretations of the tune as we build the musical picture of the song. I really enjoy working with the other players, and we have a ton of fun doing it all.


Okay, this a fun question. When you are not doing music, what else do you enjoy doing?

When you are not doing music, what else do you enjoy doing? :I am a huge sports fan. I think many times the struggles of an athletic competition are so relevant to our lives out here in the real world. Understanding the preparation, the knowledge, the physical demands, as well as the mental challenges athletes have to work through is in my opinion much like what we have to deal with in our daily lives. Sometimes all the work we do musically really pays off and sometimes it does not. Learning to accept the losses along with the successes is a great lesson we can learn through sports.


Who do you admire most in the music scene today and why?


I think the way musicians are adapting to the "new" environment is really spectacular. Learning to perform live streams from your home during the pandemic is a bit challenging, but I see so many musicians grasping the technology and doing some really cool shows. It is a bit rough performing when you are used to a live audience to draw from, but I also think the performances are just as if not more enjoyable. The folks that have worked through the sound and video challenges to deliver a great sounding and visually interesting performance are really impressive.


Can you tell us what song you've written that is the most emotional and describe the meaning behind it?


That's a tough question. Each of my tunes have some emotional impact for me or I would not have written them. I use music as my way to really express my deeper thoughts and emotions. If I had to pick one song today I would say my tune Find a Way. I wrote this about the last day my father was on this earth, reminiscing about all the times we spent together, and so many of the lessons he taught me over time. He used to tell me that if you wanted something bad enough in life and you are willing to put in the blood the sweat the tears and the toil, you can always find a way to make it happen. Great advice for me that I use every day, and I think great advice for anyone facing challenges in life.


Are you working on any new material right now or what's in the works for the upcoming year?


Well now that you brought it up, yes we are. I was in the studio just yesterday working on three new tunes that we will release in a few weeks. I am really excited about these tunes as they are all so different from a message and a genre standpoint. We have a real rocker, and country tune, an americana styled tune and a really pretty folk love song that is really cool. One that I am particularly excited about is called Who Are You, Who Am I. This tune is describing a recurring dream I have experienced throughout my life. I could never understand what it was about, and then one night it just all magically came together. It's a pretty interesting song both lyrically and musically. It will be fun to see what my fans think of it when we get the recording completed.


For more information, please visit Bill Abernathy's website.


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