Advice and Demos…

Greetings from Liberty. It’s Monday, May 25. Here’s wishing everyone good health and spirit. I’ve got the latest report from Willbilly Music. At the forefront is a new record we’ve been putting together with a working title, The Craig Demos. More about that in a bit.

We’re standing with numerous self-employed creatives all over the world, whose livelihoods have been disrupted, causing many to find new sources of income. I’m available for personal advice services if anyone is interested, fees negotiable. It reminds me of the time I was in Mount Vernon in Baltimore for dinner years ago. Out on the sidewalk, on the corner, was a gentleman with a sign hanging on his chest that said, Free Advice. I said, I’m playing a guitar that is a beast of a thing to get in tune, what advice have you? He said, “find a new guitar.” And so, I did.

The Craig Demos is a collection of recordings done in September 2019 for Craig Eastman, a multi-instrumentalist/composer who lives in Los Angeles. Craig performed numerous concerts with me and Sue last October on our western edition of the Pour Tour. At the rehearsals, Craig suggested we consider releasing the demos because he enjoyed them so much. We made a mental note and carried on.

In March, the Spring mid-Atlantic tour was cut short due to the Coronavirus, and I headed home to Liberty. I have been home for two months and am facing my first opportunity to see an entire spring season in middle Tennessee, though I have lived here for nearly fifteen years.

With so many show cancellations and uncertainty about when the touring will resume, it occurred to me, those demos were on a hard drive that could easily be accessed, which I have been.

The demos are either guitar/voice, guitar/banjo/two voice, featuring Sue and myself and a few tracks with Craig on fiddle and lap steel. It is all very exciting, and I can’t wait to finish so that I can share them with you. Here is a pic of the trio in the central coast of California and a recent drawing.

Craig, Sue & Billy
Craig, Sue & Billy by Billy

A month ago, mid-April, I was sitting on the futon in the basement early in the morning having a guayusa tea when I saw a Facebook post about a new Randy Newman song, “Stay Away,” written about the Coronavirus. There was a line in his song, “Words of love in times like these.” He was borrowing from the Buddy Holly song, “Words of Love,” but what struck me was, “in times like these.” I thought, now there’s a good title. Then I started writing my own Coronavirus song. We had just lost John Prine to the awful virus and there were so many posts and stories about him. I heard the song, “Paradise,” on Facebook and was reminded how much I liked the line about, “empty pop bottles was all we would kill.” I thought about folks in the world dealing with so much stress and how guns sales had been going up. Then a line came to me, “don’t shoot your neighbor, shoot the breeze.” It had to go into my Coronavirus song.

This new song, “In Times Like These,” will be on the new record, a couple of instrumentals, one featuring Sue on banjo, several songs many of you know and a couple of other new ones. There is a video I did with Craig last week doing, “In Times Like These.’

I’m hoping to finish The Craig Demos in the next two weeks making it available in early June. I would be grateful if each and every one of you would buy five copies of the new record and share them with your neighbors and friends. Art heals. Art is essential.

Thanks for supporting the music…

Much Happiness,


logo drawing by Billy Helfrich

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