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Bill Scull, Jr.
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I just love to hear this young man sing. I first became aware of Bill Scull, Jr. while listening to a song sung by Eileen Balzano and I wrote to the songwriter, Marilyn Oakley to ask, "Who's the guy singing backup harmony for Eileen? He's got a great voice!" Marilyn replied instantly as she has also written songs for Bill and is also a big fan of his singing.

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It was through Marilyn that I came to know about Eileen and Bill both, as she is the songwriter of many of their recorded tunes. I was a little disappointed when I got Bill's CD with only 3 songs on it.. I was hoping for more.. but the 3 songs that are on this demo CD, are all keepers and Bill's vocal talents shine through on each one.

My disappointment was curbed when Marilyn let me know that Bill is currently working on a full album which he hopes to have completed by summer, 2001. In the meantime, she sent me one of the latest songs that will be on that album to add to this review and what a keeper it is.

Bill has 2 different sites on mp3; one for his country songs that you'll sample here, and another for his contemporary spiritual album entitled, "Spiritual Mountains". As Bill doesn't have a regular website filled with his bio and other interesting facts, I am using this review to share some of the facts about this fascinating man with you. Why "fascinating"? Read on, I think you'll agree.

Bill is a performer of many various talents for which he "blames" his mother. "I remember hating when my mom made me practice piano when I was young. Now I'm glad she did because I use the piano as well as the guitar, in much of my writing." While Bill claims to be a "lightweight" at the piano, he excels on the guitar.  When he had become disenchanted with learning piano, he completely quit music altogether for a couple of years. When he was 14, his mother gave him an acoustic guitar, a "learn guitar" book with an old 45rpm. This peeked Bill's interest in music again and the icing on his cake was when he saw a young guitar player, Mark Madden play electric guitar. Bill said he became "a six string addict" from then on, almost failing high school for his love of the guitar.

Bill didn't fail but went on to graduate from Tampa's USF music school with a 3.87 GPA.  Bill said he learned a lot in music school, but it wasn't so much what they taught as it was from the interaction between people. "The way musical cliques formed gave me the most insights, especially into what motivates people musically." He decided he never wanted to be trapped into one form of music or one instrument. "I learned that my guitar and my voice were merely two different tools for expressing one musical mind in many different ways."

Bill's attitude and dedication got him started with doing demos for people then growing it into his own demo/recording business called, ScullSound". "I named the business after myself because I want the customer to realize that I stand behind what I do. It's important to me to develop trust with whoever I work with."

In 1999 and 2000 Bill began working with some very talented songwriters. One especially gifted writer was Marilyn Oakley, who collaborated with several other writers, including Kathy Wedvik, Wayne Evans and Phil Gerber to write an album for Bill. "Marilyn was so very flexible and creative, and matches my mindset so well. Whatever she writes, I'm able to add my thing and it all blends without much trouble at all. Her lyrics lend themselves to all kinds of styles and interpretations, which to me is a sign of great work. The other writers are fantastic also, each shaping their very personal lyrics with a unique style and confidence you rarely see in modern lyrics.

What about Bill's influences in music? He says he doesn't try to be an expert in any one style of music, but admits there are artists that have inspired him. "As far as country music, you can't beat George Jones because his voice always tells a story, even when the song doesn't. His voice doesn't need to be 'produced' as it stands on it's own. And in my opinion the older he gets, the better he sounds. Another favorite country singer is Vince Gill, mostly because his voice compliments his guitar playing and there is an intimacy there that can only happen when two sides of one mind connect. Lisa Angelle is someone who has been a writer for quite a few big country names and it's exciting to see her now coming on the scene as a recognized performer. She has a dynamic voice and good strong songs with great hooks. I also enjoy Faith Hill; not because she's famous or beautiful but because I think her singing is very honest and from her heart. It's a wonderful contrast to the plasticity the media attempts to superimpose on her. It's a shame we have to see a woman cosmetically perfected before we'll allow ourselves to hear the beauty of her voice. It truly is a shame of human nature."

As a guitarist, Bill has favorites there as well. "Junior Brown is not only a great player but a wonderful entertainer with his guitar. He doesn't just play guitar but his guitar becomes a fellow actor in a musical he directs."

As for the most recent part of Bill's life and career he is currently working on his upcoming country album, "A Night Without Love", which he hopes to release this summer (2001). He finalized the production of the album, "Steppin' In" by Eileen Balzano who is also "THE female vocalist" for Bill's ScullSound demo studio. Eileen also appears on Bill's album, "Spiritual Mountain" as his duet partner in two songs. Bill produced the demo for Marilyn Oakley's song, "Country Girl's Gonna Rock and Roll", which was a good enough demo to persuade up and coming country artist, Brandy Ward to include it on her debut album. Brandi won the 1999 "Rising Star Entertainer of the Year" at the Tennessee Country Music Awards in Gatlinburg, TN and her debut album is receiving world play. It doesn't stop there. Bill has also produced the recording of Lisa Marie Brennan's, "Down By The Water", which is doing quite well on both and where a video of the song can be viewed.

Like I said in the beginning, there's just too many sides to Bill Scull to just review his songs, which are already a testament to his talent. It's good to know a little of what makes an artist tick. I would like to thank Williamina Cabeza who conducted the interview with Bill, from which so much of this information came. I wish I could have included the full two page story, but that would be overdoing it more than I already have. :-) Also a big Thank You to Marilyn Oakley for being more than a songwriter for Eileen, Bill and many others, but for working so hard to help promote them.

Now just kick back and enjoy the sounds of Bill Scull, Jr.. I'm sure you'll be waiting, as I am for his new album, "A Night Without Love" to be completed.

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Let's Do It Right With Love

A Night Without Love

Everytime You Cross My Mind

Nice Problem To Have

(p) 2000 Jumpin' Jack Records    All Rights Reserved

See Bill's Promo Slide Show for his upcoming CD Debut

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Don't forget to visit Bill Scull, Jr. at these sites: - Country - "Spiritual Mountains"

E-Mail Bill Scull

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