The traditional image of a spiritual seeker does not usually conjure top hat, boots, shades and a '68 Lincoln Continental, let alone a Gibson flat-top to go with, but like any living tradition, it's open to change.
Born into a musical family with deep poetic roots*, Bill Bourne is a gifted and creative musician. An activist for social justice and an 8 time Juno Award nominee and winner, this one man tour de force has been critically acclaimed across the western hemisphere for his recordings and live performances. Voodoo King was dubbed "...as much performance art as it is musical. Stellar." by the respected Doug Sloan of Metronome Magazine. Gary Joyner of the San Diego based magazine Acoustic Guitar adds - "This powerful CD's 11 masterful songs are full of broken hearts and reflective regrets balanced by a street wise philosophy of acceptance." Phrases such as 'an intelligent songwriter'; 'exquisite'; 'raw'; 'inimitable'; 'eerily beautiful'; 'significant and compelling performances'; 'a true mystic'; are used to describe Bill Bourne's music.
Long highway miles between moments of communion and magic have given his music and his vision a kind of breadth and depth that is rare.
The road, both paved and metaphysical, runs through all his music. He has seen more of this country and several others than most of us ever will. You can hear it in his music, steeped in Cajun, Celtic, World Beat, Flamenco, funk - and a lot of blues.
There is also a perspective that is not the world-weariness one could reasonably expect, but rather a deep connection with both a river of song and an energy that is distinctly spiritual. It is a generous, sensual kind of spirit, in the way his fingers stroke the strings on that flat-top, the intimate tremor in his voice and the way the music itself dances.
Small town Alberta might also go some distance to explaining Bill's comfort with space; with the kind of wide shot perspective in both his music and his words. He grew up in a farming family and learned the value of hard work early on.
Bill has been an important part of roots music for a long time. He was a member of Scotland's Tannahill Weavers for several years, with world renowned piper Alan MacLeod for a time, then with fiddler Shannon Johnson, blues greats Hans Staymer & Andreas Schuld, and most recently with Tri-Continental. His work with Madagascar Slim and Lester Quitzau (Tri-Continental) has been very well received on both sides of the Atlantic. Bill's current collaboration with Eivør Palsdottir of the Faroe Islands is a deep, and powerful musical union that is undeniable in it's shine and relevance. There are 12 recordings of this musical journey and an armful of awards and nominations.
*Deep poetic roots include Bill's great grandfather, Icelandic poet Stephan G. Stephansson.
In Bill's own words: "From my perspective, people everywhere are an unstoppable energy, exerting and expanding a natural state of goodwill. This energy of goodwill gently eradicates the existence of fear and leads us into harmony (harmony - New Miriam-Webster Dict. 1 : musical agreement of sounds; esp : the combination of tones into chords and progressions of chords. 2 : a pleasing arrangement of parts; also : ACCORD 3 : internal calm). A community in harmony is creative and healthy and a good place to live and a great place to celebrate.
In all people - we see the harmony of billions; beautiful heroes; gentle, truth loving people who want their children to know sustainable justice, to know the power of their own gift of creativity. No matter where I am, I love the people I meet They are all precious and vital; believably amazing. Always. I hope I never ever miss a gig. The music people bring into the gigs in their presence, in their energy, is beautiful and exhilarating. Thank you beautiful people for your creative energy, for your harmonic presence, for your dance..."
Bill Bourne – Awards, Skills and Assets:
2003 – Juno Nomination for Voodoo King
2001 – Juno Award for Best Roots Recording – Tri-Continental
1999 – Juno Nomination for Sally’s Dream
1997 – Juno Nominations for Victory Train & No Special Rider
1992 – Juno Nomination for Moonlight Dancers
1991 - Juno Award Best Roots Recording – Dance & Celebrate
Professional Musician,Vocal, Guitar, Harmonica, Fiddle, 30 Years Stage Experience Songwriter, Award Winning Recording Artist, Record Producer, International Touring Artist, Horseback Rider Since Age 5, Class 1 License with Air Brake Certification, Class 6 License Motorcycle, Licensed Diesel Mechanic, Recording Engineer, Handled Guns since age 14, Fly Fisherman, Carpenter, Electrician, Farmer, Father, Gardener, Visual Artist, Poet, Musical Collaborator, Social Activist, Guitar Teacher, 1988 Dodge Van, 1968 Lincoln Continental, 1969 Gibson Hummingbird, 1981 Martin D28, 2001 Fender Stratocaster, Violin of unknown origin, various percussion instruments, the love of many beautiful friends, both old and new.