Billy Kemp (USA): Nashville-based producer, performer and songwriter

Date/Time Sun 09 Jun 2019 7:45 PM

Price Online - £8 / £10 + booking fee; On The Door - £10


A Baltimore native and Tennessee resident, 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. He performs passionate home made songs and compositions, mostly roots music.

Billy first made points in his home town by forming the Paradise Pickers, a hybrid of country and rock which released one record in 1980. During the ‘80s, Billy followed his heart and went to Nashville. While based there he toured internationally with major names like Tommy Overstreet and performed at the Grand Ole Opry with Jeanne Pruett.

Subsequently Billy returned to Maryland in 1988 and became lead guitarist for renegade rock-n-roller Tommy Conwell. He composed and recorded music for Maryland Public Television and produced numerous CDs for regional artists in the Baltimore/DC area. He released further solo albums and established a successful recording facility in rural Maryland.

From 2006-2016 Kemp wrote, recorded and performed with the critically acclaimed Appalachian folk duo, Jeni & Billy alongside Jeni Hankins. The duo made nine albums during this time and made several visits to the UK where they developed a strong fan base.

Billy released a new solo CD ‘Another Life‘ in 2017 followed in 2018 by ‘The Painter’s Bucket‘, a collection of previously released and unreleased songs from 1983-2018.

His concerts include songs from his solo releases, as well as selections from a rich and extensive back-catalogue. From Lone Star country to urban shuffles and Appalachian waltzes, Billy remains a songwriter with a love of ‘story’.

The videos here are taken by TwickFolk regular Eugene, from Billy’s last visit in October 2017. Below is the encore featuring support act Riverboat Ramblers, including Ed Hopwood on harmonica: