Billy Kemp

Friday, Nov. 15, 2019

A songwriter who loves stories
Billy Kemp is a Baltimore native, known for his literate and affecting songs, and also for his tasteful and skillful playing on guitar (and other instruments). He's toured widely in combos playing folk (Jeni & Billy), country (Terri Gibbs) and rock-n-roll (Tommy Conwell). He's produced other musicians' albums, composed music for public television, and over the years written many fine songs. He's seldom wordy, but never fails to express the underlying feelings of his musical stories. On stage, he has a warm and easy-going presence.

Billy's songwriting leans to a rootsy, somewhat country-ish style, but his vocal delivery is more Steve Goodman than Hank Williams. In fact, we think Steve Goodman is a pretty good point of comparison for Billy - high praise, coming from us! Like Steve, Billy loves to tell stories in song, has a humorous side, and punctuates his songs with sharp instrumental breaks. They both have good breakup songs, too!

Billy lives near Nashville these days, but returns now and then for shows in his "old neighborhood." His 2017 album Another Life is a reflective, heartfelt record which looks back lyrically to his roots in Maryland. We enjoyed listening to it, and we're bringing him to 333 to share his stories and his musical deliciousness with everyone.