“Billy Kemp, I think he is quite good. He reminds me of some Austin type songwriters; a cross of Leroy Preston and Loudon Wainwright. He’s better than 90% of the music I receive."- Roseanne Cash
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A Baltimore native and Nashville 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. For ten years, Kemp wrote, recorded and performed with the critically acclaimed, Appalachian Folk duo, Jeni & Billy. Billy first made points in his hometown 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 in Music City, he toured internationally with Tommy Overstreet, Terri Gibbs and Bandana. In town, he performed on the Grand Ole Opry with Jeanne Pruett. Billy returned to Maryland in 1988 and released one album with the reformed Paradise Rockers before landing the spot as lead guitarist for renegade rock-n-roller Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers living the rock-star lifestyle. He composed and recorded music for Maryland Public Television 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 rural Maryland. Billy released a new solo recording in the fall of 2017 called Another Life. In 2018, he followed that release with a new CD of his back-catalog songs called the Painter’s Bucket. His concerts will include songs from his latest CDs, as well as audience favorites and selections from his rich and extensive career. From Lone Star country to urban shuffles and Appalachian waltzes, Billy remains a songwriter with a love of story.