“Bill Staines has been my hero since 1977. He carries on where Woody left off-carrying on the tradition of stories and characters you wish you knew.”
Anyone not familiar with the music of Bill Staines is in for a special treat.
For over thirty five years, Bill has traveled back and forth across North America, singing his songs and delighting audiences at festivals, folksong societies, colleges, concerts, clubs and coffeehouses. A New England native, Bill became involved with the Boston- Cambridge folk scene in the early 1960’s and, for a time, emceed the Sunday hootenanny at the renowned Club 47 in Cambridge. Bill quickly became a popular performer in the Boston area. In 1971, after one of his performances, a reviewer for The Phoenix stated that Bill was “simply Boston’s best performer.” A decade later, both in 1980 and 1981, the annual Reader’s Poll of The Boston Globe selected him as a favorite performer. In 1991 , Bill entered his forth decade as a folk performer with an international reputation as an artist.
Singing mostly his own songs, he has become one of the most popular singers on the folk music circuit today and averages around 200 concert dates a year.
Bill weaves a magical blend of wit and gentle humor into his performances, and as one reviewer wrote, “he has a sense of timing to match the best stand-up comic.” His music is a slice of Americana, reflecting with the same ease, his feelings about the prairie people of the Midwest or the adventurers of the Yukon.
Interspersed between original songs, Bill also includes songs ranging from traditional folk tunes to more contemporary country ballads and delights in having the audience participate in many of the numbers. He may even do a yodeling tune or two- having won the National Yodeling Championship in 1975 at the Kerrville Folk Festival in Kerrville Texas.
A number of Bill’s songs have been recorded by other artists including, Peter, Paul, & Mary, Makem and Clancy, Nanci Griffith, Mason Williams, The Highwaymen, Glen Yarborough, Jerry Jeff Walker, Grandpa Jones, Priscilla Herdman and others. Bill has recorded twenty-two of his own albums, fifteen of which are still in print. Additionally, Bill’s songs have been published in four songbooks, If I Were A Word, Then I’d Be A Song, River, Music To Me, The Songs of Bill Staines, and All God’s Critters Got A Place In The Choir. Two of the books contain nearly one hundred of Bill’s songs.
Radio and TV appearances have included A Prairie Home Companion, Mountain Stage, The Good Evening Show and a host of local programs on PBS and network TV. Bill continues to drive over 65,000 miles a year, doing what he loves, bringing music to people.