By Jim Kelly
Bill Scorzari is a performer, song writer and storyteller. Born in Flushing, Queens, Bill’s family moved to Huntington when Bill was 1 year old. Scorzari started playing the guitar at the age of 8 and started writing music while still in grade school. By junior high, he had played his first gig at age 13.
As the son of a preeminent New York trial attorney, Scorzari also became an attorney in New York City in 1989 and for almost 30 years led a successful law practice. During that time, he formed a band, Blue Sky Reign, which has appeared in the Founders Room at the Paramount and other live venues. The band performed at many fundraising events for groups such as Blue Star Moms and for the Outreach Program for St. Patrick’s Church in Huntington.
Bill said he really sings Americana music which is a combination of folk, country, bluegrass, blues, and storytelling. In 2011 Scorzari released his solo album Just the Same. John Platt of WFUV stated “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.”
His second album, Through These Waves, was released in 2017 and Bill decided to do a national tour. The album jumped straight to number 1 on the Americana Music Association’s Most-Added-Radio-Stations Top-50 chart. It later also landed on many Top-Albums-of-2017 lists, including Folk Alley and Elmore magazine.
Bill has played with man notables such as Joachim Cooder (Ry Cooder’s son), Chris Scruggs (Earl Scruggs’ grandson), and Kim Richey. Eamon McLaughlin, who was nominated for best instrumentalist by the Americana Music Association, played the fiddle on his second and third albums.
On his 2017 tour, Bill travelled cross-country putting over 10,000 miles on his car. Through it all, Bill has been really impressed by seeing the different regions and nature’s beauty, as well as meeting really wonderful people and hearing their stories of their incredible lives. He had occasion to meet Charlie Hall in Colorado. Charlie was one of the founders of the Black Rose Acoustic Society, a music organization based in Colorado Springs that has regular performances in Black Forest as well as classes and jam sessions in Colorado Springs. He was also part of the bluegrass/folk/swing band Black Rose which made two albums, one as a trio and the other as a quintet. He then created the Prairie Como Band and had more success. Charlie also taught hundreds of people how to play guitar and mandolin. Sadly, Charlie was afflicted with a rare brain cancer, glioblastoma, the same disease that took John McCain’s life. While in Colorado, Bill had played with Charlie and was so moved by Charlie’s life and story that at Bill’s sold-out performance he donated a percentage of the sales to Charlie and his family. Charlie was very moved and told Bill that in the past they would have gone out and celebrated with a big steak but because of his cancer Charlie wouldn’t taste it so right now they would just go out and buy a couple of Big Macs. Charlie died in December 2018.
Bill related a story that during his last trip, he was on a straight flat road in New Mexico and the GPS made an announcement “in the next 511 miles, make a left”. The next set of directions from the GPS was “in 386 miles make a left.” In all of the driving and miles, Bill said that he is amazed after seeing all of the green fields, dusty roads, dust devils, and oil rigs, how remarkably the scenery changes and how beautiful this country truly is.
His next big event will be in Newport, Rhode Island, on Friday July 26 at what Bill referred to as the Holy Grail of folk festivals – The Newport Folk Festival. He has been attending for eight years, but this year is a featured artist. The next tour will start in Newport and go through New England before crisscrossing the country ending up in California. He has 26 shows booked and intends to bring it up to 40 shows over a two-month period.
Now I’m Free is scheduled for release in early September 2019. If you have not heard Bill, go to his website, Billscorzari.com. If you want to follow Bill, he is on Instagram (billscorzari) and Facebook (Bill Scorzari).