I’ve been playing music for more than 40 years. First influenced by the country music I heard as a child, and then by the folk-rock of the Lovin’ Spoonful and the Byrds, and by the folk revival of the ’60’s, I began to attend the Philadelphia Folk Festival in 1969 where I was introduced to real traditional music. With all these influences (and some Beatles, Motown, blues, and jazz), I perform what I call “eclectic folk music”. I am mainly a singer, and sometimes I just sing, with no accompaniment. But when I first wanted to sing that option did not occur to me, so I taught myself to play the guitar, and then the mandolin, and then the concertina and the mountain dulcimer. I usually perform solo, but also play with others: sometimes with my wife and my children (now grown), and sometimes with Matteo Casini (who can do a lot of things I can’t do on the guitar), and sometimes with anyone who is willing to join me. More recently I have been a regular member of The Providence Wholebellies, a wild and eclectic band, and with the Quahog Quire, an a cappella group that does work songs, hymns, children’s songs, and more.
I do a lot of traditional music of the British Isles and North America, but I’ve also written a few songs, and do some songs that others have written. My main influences have been: Pete Seeger, Utah Phillips, Jerry Jeff Walker, Joni Mitchell, Phil Ochs, Tom Paxton, Frankie Armstrong, Louise Killen, John Roberts & Tony Barrand, and of course my namesake, Bill Monroe.
Here are some samples of my music:
“Providence” and “Riding Down the Coast” are my own songs. “By the Water’s Edge” is a more recent song about Rhode Island.
The rest are traditional. Most are performed solo, but four of them feature Matteo Casini on guitar and vocals.