Trying to Get Out Alive
Liner notes from Bill Ward's latest CD 'Trying to Get Out Alive' The roots of this album go back to 1990 when Bill had released a five-song EP entitled Ravens in the Night. This cassette had a great sound with songs that have endured the test of time. It deserved to be updated to a full-length CD. The original idea was simply to mix these songs (using the original master tapes) with some from his live show in order to create a more edgy 'live' album. It's intended title was, once again, Ravens in the Night. But as time went on (and insanity took hold), the concept evolved, and with these songs seven more were added: three taken from the live show and four newly written. The result is an eclectic album, with a decidedly rockier, more restless tone. The new title Trying to Get Out Alive expresses this theme. Part of the insanity was the decision to digitally re-mix and re-master the five Ravens in the Night songs from their original tapes. The goal was to clean them up without losing their original personality. This all took way too long! But it's amazing how much an already fine sounding cassette can be improved. New vocals, however, were added to all these songs. (Purists were outraged!) Unfortunately, due to deterioration of the tapes 'A Chance at Sea' had to be newly recorded (so, there is still reason to obtain the original cassette). This new version has a more relaxed feel. The remaining songs filtered in and found their place on the disk. 'Grape Jelly' was a shoo-in; being a favorite opening number for the majority of live shows. A couple of cover tunes (also from the live show) were added for variety: 'Matchbox' and 'Shelter from the Storm'. After it was all recorded, one 'live' cover tune had to be cut because of absurd licensing requirements. But this worked out for the best, as it made room for more original material which is forever piling up. In stepped 'La le Lay', and indeed it was the perfect closer. Lastly, to complete the disk, three new songs were added. 'How It's Done' is an original electric blues destined to be a classic. 'Escape' is a forceful modern rock song written by someone who hates modern rock (this is 'how it's done'). And 'Alright Tonight', the newest of all, was one of those magical songs that wrote itself in only a few hours?this is a good thing. Bill thanks all those who purchased this disk. He hopes that it will become one of your favorites and continue to satisfy, inspire, and motivate. This is a very rich album involving years of work. Listen carefully; with an artistic ear. 'To those who connect with the spirit of this album; I believe we share something very deep in common. May it help you find your way out . . .Alive'. __ Biographical information for Bill Ward: A BRIEF INTRODUCTION Bill Ward is the real deal: where substance outweighs hype. If you're moved by trendy one hit wonders with no staying power, this is not it. If you're looking for well written songs, strong vocals, musicianship, plus stage presence; it's all here. A songwriter who has written over 150 record quality songs A compelling performer with a commanding stage presence A dynamic; extremely versatile singing voice: able to punch out a gutsy rock tune or generate a sweet quality for a tender ballad An ability to compose and arrange (proficient in music theory) A multi-faceted musician, guitarist and pianist - creating variety in the songs and the sound A significant blues/rock guitarist All this without the attitude. Is it too good to be true? STYLE The very definition of eclectic: combining the best of various styles into a singular unique sound which is 'Bill Ward'. So, who does he sound like? Although there are no pervasive influences, let's try this: Mix the lyrical style of Bob Dylan, with the blues pop song-writing of The Guess Who, with the compositional depth of the late Beatles, and throw in the blues guitar of Eric Clapton and you may get some idea of the breadth of Bill's style. You'll find ingredients from classical to jazz, from rhythm to blues, from folk to classic and modern rock; all fitted together with a disciplined approach. His sound could be basically described as compositional, melodic, blues/rock; often blending feelings of both melancholy and hope. Even though there is much depth in the music, it is still very accessible and listen-able. He writes for the sophisticated listener, and yet the music is not pompous or intellectually tiresome. 'I like songs that immediately catch you, and yet also continue to reveal more and more depth over time.' It's rock that is done with such taste, attention to detail, and musicianship that older folks appreciate it as well as the young. Timeless music that moves the soul: that is the Bill's artistic goal. PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE Bill has been a prolific songwriter for many years. He has released five albums thus far with many more in waiting. His latest CD, 'Trying to Get Out Alive', (released in 2003) is an upbeat, electric guitar oriented, rock album with genuine commercial appeal. His first CD 'One Last Winter' (released 1997) shows a more pensive side with lyrical ballads and a touch of the blues. Previously, he'd released 3 cassette albums: Those Days are Gone (re-released in 1992), The Chair is Squeaking (released in 1989 with his former band), and Ravens in the Night ( five song EP released in 1990). He's been performing for years in venues of all types: concert halls, bars and clubs, bookstores, festivals, churches, coffeehouses, restaurants, private parties, etc. Currently most of his gigs center around his home of West Chicago, although he will travel pretty much wherever the show leads. Bill currently books and performs solo shows of his music and selected cover tunes.