Grammy nominated guitarist, singer and songwriter Bill Kirchen is one of the fortunate few who can step on any stage, play those trademark licks which drove the seminal Commander Cody classic Hot Rod Lincoln into the Top Ten nationwide, and elicit instant recognition for a career that�s spanned over 30 years and includes performances with names like Nick Lowe,Emmylou Harris, Doug Sahm, Elvis Costello and Danny Gatton. Named �A Titan of the Telecaster� by Guitar Player Magazine, he celebrates an American musical tradition where country music draws upon its origins in blues and bluegrass, and in the Western swing of Texas and California honky tonks. An apt description of Bill�s singing, songwriting and guitar playing skill is provided in this quote from Nick Lowe: �He's like a devastating culmination of the elegant and funky... a really sensational musician, with enormous depth.�
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A winner of multiple Wammies over the years, In 2002 Bill Kirchen was one of three artists inducted into the Washington Area Music Association Hall of Fame along with Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters, Nirvana)and John Phillip Sousa. A Kirchen performance recalls a half century of guitar legends �from C&W virtuosos like Merle Travis, Joe Maphis and Grady Martin to rock legends like Scotty Moore, James Burton, Duane Eddy, all the way to Jimi Hendrix� and extends their brilliance into the present. This is well captured on his latest CDs: Raise A Ruckus,Hot Rod Lincoln - Live! and Tied to the Wheel on HighTone Records, featuring the 2001 Grammy nominatedoriginal composition"Poultry in Motion". His latest release for the Cracker Barrel label is Dieselbilly Road Trip.
Bill accompanied Ralph Stanley on a national broadcast of Mountain Stage radio. He performed at the 25th year reunion radio show of Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen on the widely syndicated Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion in January 2001. He fronted an allstar band benefitting Rep. Dave Obey with ex-Dead Mickey Hart on drums and Bruce Hornsby on piano. Some more recent international touring highlights have been the Blue Highways Festival in Utrecht Holland with the Twangbangers in 2002 and with Austin deLone in 2005, the Country Rendez-Vous Festival with Too Much Fun, in France, the Byron Bay Blues Festival in Australia with The Paladins and, back in the USA,The Philadelphia Folk Festival where Bill single-handedly brought down the house with his solo semi-acoustic set. The latest Nick Lowe CD Untouched Takeway, recorded live on Nick�s Impossible Bird Tour in 1995, features Bill on guitar as well as singing lead vocal on Tombstone Every Mile. His next exciting project is recording in Nashville this fall with Greg Trooper on a new album of Greg�s original material which will be produced by the great singer-songwriter Dan Penn. This summer Bill will be on tour with The Hacienda Brothers, (Chris Gaffney & Dave Gonzales) in the midwest. He returns to play the National Folk Festival, in Lowell MA.
In early June of 2005, back by popular demand, Bill revisitsJorma Kaukonen�s Fur Peace Ranch Guitar Camp for his third year as a guitar instructor and performer. He has also been appearing on the lecture circuit, at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC as part of the �Electrified, Amplified and Diefied - The Electric Guitar� exhibition in 1996 and at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. Kicking off the TNN special �Yesterday and Today: Honky Tonk & Western Swing,� Bill is interviewed and performs along with Hank Thompson, Doug Sahm, Don Walser and more. He was a keynote speaker in 1998 at the International Conference on Elvis Presley in Memphis.
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