BILLY KEMP: TwickFolk favourite in his first solo appearance + Riverboat Ramblers

Date/Time Sun 15 Oct 2017 7:45 PM

Price Online - £11 + £1.10 booking fee; On The Door - £11


Billy Kemp is a musician, songwriter, singer, composer and producer. He is a multi-instrumentalist but is best known for his tasteful and inventive guitar playing.

From 2005 through 2016 Billy was half of TwickFolk favourites, Appalachian Folk duo Jeni and Billy. His concerts on this year’s tour will include songs from his new CD, as well as audience favourites from the Jeni & Billy repertoire and selections from a rich and extensive back-catalogue.

During the ‘80s Billy followed his heart and went to Nashville, where he made it to the stage of the Grand Ole Opry. While based in Music City, he toured internationally with Tommy Overstreet, Terri Gibbs and Bandana. In town, he performed with Opry member Jeanne Pruett, before landing the spot as lead guitarist for renegade rock-n-roller Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers. The next three years marked a loud exposure to the rock-star life of fine studios, high volume and constant touring.

During the ’90s Billy decided to go back to school and earned a music degree from the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC). He composed and recorded music for Maryland Public Television, worked as a music facilitator at the Baltimore City Detention Center, taught as adjunct faculty at UMBC and produced numerous CDs for regional artists in the Baltimore/DC area. He also recorded and released two CDs on his own label, Willbilly Records.

In 2000 Billy formed a new roots-rock ensemble, Willbilly—his nickname in high school because of his love for country and Appalachian folk music. He also expanded his role as a producer and studio-owner, establishing a successful recording facility in a barn in rural Maryland, as well as continuing his teaching work at UMBC. From Lone Star country to urban shuffles and Appalachian waltzes, Billy remains a songwriter with a love of story.

The videos on this page are from a house concert in Gainesville, Florida, in January 2017, courtesy of Chuck Levy.

Support for the evening are the Riverboat Ramblers, a ragtime, folk and blues trio all the way from West London.