laura's blog

Bill Deasy and Me

scribbled by laura on December 24, 2011

On Wednesday, December 28, I’m returning to Club Cafe on the South Side of Pittsburgh to see my friend — a talented songwriter, singer, guitarist, novelist, and father — Bill Deasy.

I met Bill on July 7, 2007 (7/7/07) by chance. We were put on a bill together at the Media Theater by local music supporter, Bill Tyson. He thought our music would be a good fit together, and while Bill and I have pretty different musical styles, I learned that night that we were kindred spirits.

Hallelujah
Here’s how I recall it. Bill was sitting in the tiny green room with a guitar, and it seemed like he was working out his set for the evening. I stormed in, neurotic, nervous, and frantic (which is par for the course before a gig), and I probably looked like a crazy person to this mellow dude. I think I asked him if it was okay if I sat down, and he welcomed me. The next thing I knew, we were talking, and then he asked me if I knew the song Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen. I explained that I only knew the Jeff Buckley version, and then Bill asked me if I would sing the song with him.

So here’s this guy whom I’ve never met before, who has never even heard me sing a note, trusting me to sing with him. What??? I was blown away.

When the time came to join Bill onstage, the combination of our voices unsurely yet carefully navigating their way with one another and the beauty of the song itself made it one of the coolest vocal moments of my life. To my knowledge, no one has a recording of it, and I’m glad. I’m glad I only have the memory. For whatever reason that night, Bill and I just clicked.

The best part of the story is that we have remained in touch over the years and have developed a lasting friendship. Bill began asking me to open some of his solo and full band shows and also provide harmony for the sets. He even trusted me to sing substantial harmony on his 2009 record, Being Normal and join him on some tunes for a live recording of The Gathering Field’s Reunion on 11/20/2010. Bill is also featured singing harmony on two of my songs from Bittersweet Other Side of the World and Sound of the Rain.

When I first played some of Bill’s music for my boyfriend, he made me laugh because he said, “He sounds like you but a dude.”  🙂

Bill has supported me in more ways than one, and I’m happy to call him a friend. I know his music touches a lot of people, and I certainly have my favorite songs and lyrics. The song, Being Normal, is probably my favorite. Every time I experience a change in my life, I immediatey think of the lyric:

“Standing on the precipice of changes that terrify me, simple though they are.”

Hope to see you on the 28th for Bill’s annual Boxing Day show at Club Cafe. Thank you to all the wonderful people from the Burgh who have supported me over the past few years and continue to do so. I’ll end with a question for you Deasy/Gathering Field fans: What’s your favorite song of his? Or do you have a lyric that stands out?

11 Responses to “Bill Deasy and Me”

  • I am looking forward to tomorrow evening’s show! One of my all time favorite songs of Bill’s is “Meet Me There” but there are so many more! You are right about his music touching so many people. Random lines of his lyrics will pop into my head as things happen around me.

    One ironic timing of a moment happened at Club Cafe. He was singing “Something Right”…

    There is a line from it…”We have all heard these chords someplace before…don’t suppose that matters much…We have all been in love…We have glimpsed God above…been startled by a stanger’s touch…”

    Of course I was focused on Bill singing and thinking about the line and how many times I had heard those chords before but that I never get tired of hearing Bill play them or his voice singing along with those chords when someone walked by on the stranger’s touch line exactly and touched my shoulder to say something to me. I almost jumped out of my chair…so startled…I actually laughed out loud at the timing. 😉

    See you tomorrow!

    by

    Beth Spence

    on

    Wednesday, December 28, 2011
  • Hallo, i’m 38 y.o., soon iill marry my fiancèè and we think to move in California soon, for to grow our babies..
    why i tells you that? Bec’s i’m happy to think we have to spend our life in US. And i think you are a great singer! i love the way you play and vocalize your soul.
    My fiancèè and i, we hope to listen to your show live soon…
    go on this way.
    bye
    Bobo

    by

    Bobo

    on

    Thursday, December 29, 2011
  • ps

    i’m a teacher too. Math e Physic.. 🙂

    by

    Bobo

    on

    Thursday, December 29, 2011
  • i was at the Media show… what a great night.

    “Lost in America” is my all-time Bill favorite, excepting The Gathering Field stuff i’d say “No More Bitter Lonely”.

    the lyric that came to mind was from “Levi”… “I turn right on Amsterdam, even tho’ everything’s wrong”.

    Laura… thanks for all you music.

    by

    Gil

    on

    Friday, December 30, 2011
  • Choosing a bill Deasy written lyric is tough. I’ve lived so very many of them and some have been with me for many many years. I cant pick one so here a few off the top of my head:

    “they say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger let’s just say she gave me lots of strength”

    “I was grieving for the dreams she started making and the parts of me I know I’d never show her…and fatigue gave way to ecstacy”

    “the thought of her surender spreads through me like a forest fire”

    by

    Joshua Braskett

    on

    Tuesday, February 14, 2012
  • Laura,

    I saw your show last night at the Tin Angel and absolutely fell in love with your sound. I was therewith my girlfriend and had purchased tickets on a whim after eating at Serrano. What an amazing gift your talent is…we will see you many more times.

    With thanks and much gratitude!!!!!

    Tom & Carolyn.

    by

    Tom B.

    on

    Sunday, April 22, 2012
  • Thank you so much! I really appreciate you taking a chance and then taking the time to write 🙂 Hope to see you again!

    Laura

    by

    laura

    on

    Thursday, May 3, 2012
  • You’re a good musician/singer,Bill. knew it long before you did. when we played counry/pop for years together. Always knew you would excel in the music business.

    by

    Paul Miller

    on

    Sunday, May 26, 2013
  • “Careful How You Go” is one of my favorite lyrics. That song hung around for ages before I could come up with a second verse that I was happy with. When I was first spending time in London, I stayed with a friend and we would go on epic walks late at night. We’d set off around 11 or 12 and walk for hours around London – sometimes until the sun would start to come up and the birds would start singing. On one of these walks it began to snow – big, soft, silent flakes that covered the city and made the evening magical. It is one of my best memories. This song is about that evening.

    by

    Bennett D. Conner

    on

    Saturday, June 8, 2013
  • You’re a good musician/singer,Bill. knew it long before you did. when we played counry/pop for years together. Always knew you would excel in the music business.

    by

    Josefina X. Mccullough

    on

    Friday, June 21, 2013
  • 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.

    by

    Lenny T. Singleton

    on

    Sunday, June 30, 2013
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