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Billy King: Bio

BILLY KING

Born in Chicago, Billy grew up on the mean streets of its south side at a time when modern blues was evolving. The rural blues styles of the Mississippi Delta were being shaped by the influences of electric instruments and Rock and Roll. A product of this multifaceted environment, Billy's unique style can best be described as a synthesis of traditional acoustic and electric blues, rockabilly, roots, and americana .  

Billy is a story teller and the songs he writes are based upon his own experiences . They are filled with humor and irony, they tell a story of a lifetime of living, loving, and playing,music in Chicago. He often introduces a song by saying "This is a true story.  I know I was there!"

A well known, and well respected figure around the Chicago music scene Billy has played with and learned from some of the finest  musicians in the world. He has established himself as a dynamic frontman and an exciting stage performer, who never fails to connect with his audience.

A talented musician and a gifted songwriter Billy, is at his best with his Dobro in his hands, performing his own quick witted originals in front of a live audience. His emphasis has always been, and will always be, on performing live.

As a recording artist Billy has self-produced three records:" Mean Woman Blues" which he recorded in Chicago withe the Lonnie Brooks blues band, "Life Ain't Easy"with members of the Country Roads Band, and "Live at Bozley's".  His songs have appeared on two compilation discs "Mile by Blues Mile", and "Ultimate Blues Volume One".  He has played on numerous recordings as a session player. 

"My biggest musical influences are in the blues, all the Kings: B.B., Albert, and Freddy, Lightning Hopkins, John Lee Hooker, but also the rockabilly of Dale Hawkins, the rock&roll of Buddy Holly and the storytelling of Bob Dylan. I used to listen to them when all of my friends were listening to popular music."

"Growing up in Chicago was an advantage for me because the music is all around you, all the time. I can remember sitting on the curb outside some of the clubs in the "Old Town" neighborhood on the Northside. I was too young to get in but I could hear the music pretty well, and some of the bands set up in the window and you could watch the drummers working it. Jr. Wells, Buddy Guy, Mike Bloomfield, Paul Butterfield, James Cotton, they were all there and I was lucky enough to hear them."