The Painter’s Bucket

Billy Kemp’s recording, The Painter’s Bucket, is a collection of songs from two records Billy never released, 1997’s Bang and 2005’s Willbilly or Won’t He. There are also a few songs from his 1996 cassette only release, Painter, and one new demo recording from 2017 of an older song written in 1982, “I Wish You Well.” The window of time these recordings and songs come from is 1982-2017.

Billy wanted to follow up his 2017 record, Another Life, quickly but didn’t have enough new recorded tracks. In the early winter of 2017 he got the idea to release some master recordings that had never seen wax, tape, binary or ether, a few tracks that had only seen tape and a new binary demo.

Here is the story Billy tells on the back cover of The Painter’s Bucket:

The Painter’s Bucket has been sitting in the corner of a room that hasn’t had many visitors in years. This past winter I wandered into the room, stumbled into the bucket and knocked it over. Many of these songs spilled out onto the floor, woke up from a long nap and leap into the closest song playing device. They stirred the air up a bit. Thank you for taking these songs and adding them to your bucket. And remember that they are most happy when they are dancing in the ether…

Billy had two unreleased records because he recorded them during his “producing years” from 1990-2005. Billy has been writing songs since he was sixteen. His love for recording them never diminished, though he wasn’t a touring-recording artist. From 2005-2016 Billy toured, produced, recorded and wrote for the Appalachian-Folk duo, Jeni & Billy. So when he released his Another Life record in 2017, it was his first solo release since 1996, the cassette only release, Painter.
Eight of the eleven songs are co-written with long time song collaborator, Geoffrey Himes. The Painter’s Bucket includes definite nods to several musical artists and writers that Billy has spent time with in his listening room; Willie Nelson, Mark Knopfler, Bruce Springsteen and B.B. King. The record also includes a nod to visual artist, Jackson Pollock, that Billy spent time with in both book and museum.

Billy is grateful to all of the musicians and engineers that helped fill The Painter’s Bucket.

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