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
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
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
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
mp3.com and famestreet.com 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.