Bill Deasy Band
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Bill Deasy Band

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The best kept secret in music

Press


The former lead singer of Gathering Field, Pittsburgh native Bill Deasy has been through the major-label wringer, and has emerged with his second solo record, Good Day No Rain, on his own Bound to Be label.

Sounding like a folkier Matthew Sweet, Deasy has a world-weary voice, and his lyrics have the feel of a wise and wounded romantic walking in a rainstorm.

That's not bad, mind you, when you can do it as well as this guy does. With huge hooks, songs like "It's All Right There," the orchestrated "Blue Sky Grey," and the funky shuffle of "In My Head" all demonstrate the hand of a skillful writer adept at hitching a sincere, soul-searching tone to easily infectious melodies.

Sensitive singer/songwriters are a dime a dozen, but really good ones are a rarity. Bill Deasy is the real deal. In a perfect world, you'd already know this.

— Steve Leggett - All Music Guide


Bill Deasy has distilled the aesthetic and no-bull outlook of his hometown Pittsburgh on Good Day No Rain.

Accomplished at writing small phrases that speak volumes—much like fellow Pennsylvania native Matthew Ryan, an artist with whom he shares a number of similarities—Deasy delivers his vocals without any superficial embellishment, cutting straight to the lyric.

On tunes like “In My Head” and “Who We Are,” Deasy possesses a heart-stopping ability to wrangle an emotion and hold it still for investigation. He calls to mind Paul Westerberg and many of the finest rock songwriters who mix poetry and drunken bluster, yet somehow sound macho and sensitive at the same time. 

A cross between Matthew Sweet and Michael Penn-style smart pop and flat-out rock, Deasy’s songs are the real deal—intelligent, honest and catchy as hell.

- Clay Steakley - Performing Songwriter Magazine


With better luck, Bill Deasy could have shown John Mayer --and James Taylor, who's apparently forgotten -- how it's done when this year's Grammy broadcast turned its attention to shining a light on the singer-songwriter scene.

But Deasy's self-releasing these days, just in time to hit you with a song that comes on like the breakthrough hit he never knew -- outside of Pittsburgh, anyway. Not that his earlier work was inaccessible -- or even close to inaccessible -- but "Blue Sky Grey" is such an instantly engaging folk-rock treasure even Atlantic would have had a hard time fumbling the ball on that one.

And it's not alone here, either. "Good Day No Rain" hits the streets today on Deasy's own Bound to Be Records. And fans of his work with the Gathering Field would do well not to miss this latest chapter in the Deasy story.

Cut in New York City with a band of session aces and a couple of friends from Pittsburgh (Liz Berlin of Rusted Root and Clark Slater of Push), the production is warm and rich and, even in its loudest moments, intimate, whether supporting his heartfelt vocals with strings on "Blue Sky Grey" and "Who We Are" or scaling it back to acoustic guitar and percussion. Even when the energy kicks in on "Prisoner," the vocals remain in the forefront.

And that's where you want the vocals with a lyricist as strong as Deasy spinning turns of phrase as inspired as "You make poetry from lies till it almost sounds like the truth" and "Where did you go last night while she slept in sheets of white dreaming of you?"

-Ed Masley

- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


I’m used to seeing The Clarks play either in bars or in outdoor amphitheaters, so I was curious to see how they would do in a historical theater setting.

The show at the Capitol Music Hall in Wheeling, for which the Buzz Poets and Bill Deasy opened on Friday, May 9, turned out to be one of the all-around most enjoyable experiences I’ve had at a rock concert.  The theater was by no means packed, but it was a rowdy crowd that made a lot of noise, especially for The Clarks. Hearing the characteristic roar of fans after The Clarks’ opening song, “Snowman,” lead singer Scott Blasey and guitar player Rob James exchanged pleased looks and Blasey shouted, “Yeah! It’s that Wheeling feeling!”

Clarks fan that I am, however,  I would have been content to go home even before the boys took the stage. Why? Two words: Bill Deasy.

Lead singer for six years with The Gathering Field, Pittsburgh musician Deasy has put together a new band of stellar performers on guitar, bass, drums and keyboard. They played several cuts from the album released earlier this year, “Good Day No Rain,” including the cathartic “Blue Sky Grey,” which can be heard on Pittsburgh public radio station WYEP-FM 91.3 “I Want to Know” has just been added to YEP’s rotation, and listeners to WDVE-FM 102.5 can call in to request “Prisoner.” 

They also played one of my favorite Gathering Field tunes, “Lost in America,” and Blasey joined him, singing harmony on the chorus. Rob James also took the stage playing the mandolin.Deasy left The Gathering Field in 2000 and headed to Nashville to participate in several songwriting sessions, during which he co-penned the tune “Good Things Are Happening,” which ABC producers picked up for the new “Good Morning America” theme song. Deasy even was featured in PARADE Magazine’s Personality Parade column in September 2002 when a reader asked about “the gorgeous guy” who sings the theme song.

What’s so great about Deasy? It’s not just his soul-searching lyrics, his humble attitude or his good looks. Mostly, it’s his incredible voice.  After his set Friday, I told Deasy that of all the voices out there in the world, his is my favorite. It’s clear and throaty at the same time, resonating with emotion and conviction.

Having been a fan of The Gathering Field since 1997, I have listened to Deasy sing so much that he has entered into that realm of singers whom I consider my friends — musicians who I feel have become part of my life through their art form. Deasy’s voice is a comfort to me, just as are Bono’s and Sting’s and those of Amy Ray and Emily Saliers (the Indigo Girls).

The down-to-earth, good-vibe quality of Deasy’s music is reminiscent of John Cougar but contemporary enough to compete with John Mayer.  If you like good, clean rock music with thoughtful lyrics, pick up Deasy’s new CD.

And a good night it was.

-Betsy Bethel
- Wheeling News Register/Intelligencer


WYEP has announced the top selections on their annual listener poll.  "Good Day No Rain" comes in at number 4 on the national chart, right in-between Damien Rice and Radiohead.

The Top 5:

1. Jayhawks-Rainy Day Music

2. Warren Zevon-The Wind

3. Damien Rice-O

4. Bill Deasy-Good Day No Rain
"Every song sets its own mood and tell its own story - and there's something new to be discovered every time you sit down to listen to Good Day No Rain."- Linda, Oakmont

5. Radiohead - Hail to the Thief

- WYEP FM


Deasy's is a voice that deserves -- and even demands -- to be heard, and with an album as exquisite as Good Day, No Rain , ignorance of it is definitely not bliss.

Aware of the fickle nature of the music business, the former Gathering Field front man has decided to exercise full control of his labors by releasing this, his second solo album, on his own Bound To Be Records.

From the first bars of the sprightly and clever "I Want to Know," it's clear just how much this Pittsburgh native revels in his independence. The melodies draw you in immediately. The production is sparse yet rich, and Deasy's vocals are as affecting as ever.

His voice has shades of Springsteen on the delicately beautiful "In My Head" and there's a hint of U2 in the soaring "I'll Rescue You," which develops from barely a whisper into a song of epic proportions. Yet, Deasy's sound is one all of his own and has such depth and power that the magnitude of songs like the majestic "Who We Are," the intense "Prisoner" and the quite breathtaking "The Gift of Seeing Through" can't be fully appreciated by a mere cursory listen.

Deasy's lyrics are just as stirring as his music, and "Blue Sky Grey" showcases this talent brilliantly.

In short, Good Day No Rain is a thoroughly engaging and accessible album of folk tinged pop-rock which proves that being an independent artist is certainly no barrier to making music of the highest quality.

-Andrew Ellis

- Ink 19


After Bill Deasy wrote 'Good Things Are Happening' for ABC-TV, good things really did happen for the Pittsburgh singer-songwriter.

No one is more excited about Martina McBride's new CD than Bill Deasy, the former leader of popular Pittsburgh band the Gathering Field.

Nope, he hasn't gone country. Rather, McBride has gone Deasy. She recorded "Learning to Fall," a song he co-wrote with Odie Blackmon for "Martina," due out Tuesday.

"That's my biggest break," said Deasy, who got a sneak listening of the finished version in Nashville. "It was so great. Her producer had this real bold vision for the song and it totally happened. My co-writer and I sat there kind of stunned by it."

Landing a song on a major star's CD should boost Deasy's profile. If McBride should release the song as a next single, look out. The rest of the country will realize what Pittsburgh has long known: Deasy is a terrific songwriter. With poetry and grace, he writes reflective, emotionally incisive songs that ache with longing, drip with regret, swim in melancholy, brim with sorrow.

"I think I'm sort of evolving as a writer," said Deasy.

Prime example: "Wishing Well," a brand-new song that's knocking out fans during his live shows. (He returns to Docksider on Saturday.) "It has a little bit of a Delta-rock-blues thing. It stands out from the whole set; it just feels like a slightly different genre. I don't know what it is, but it's cool. Like a real rocker."

When Deasy does it — actually rocks out — it's in a folk-rock or Americana mode, which was the Gathering Field's strength. That group released a fine album for Atlantic, "Lost in America," which unfortunately was lost on most of America. Though the powerful title cut earned airplay at assorted stations around the country, including Erie, Atlantic never really gave it huge push.

The band later decided to break up, though it reunites occasionally (including Nov. 26 on the Gateway Clipper).

"WE KIND OF HIT A WALL," DEASY SAID. "The thing didn't seem to be moving forward anymore, and I got kind of disillusioned with the experience with Atlantic. So I re-evaluated and stepped back from everything around me for a while. I also did a little solo record, 'Spring Lies Waiting.'"

He actually recorded "Spring" while still with Gathering Field, but the project thrust him more into a singer-songwriter mindset. After the split, Deasy began visiting Nashville, where he wrote songs on his own and with Blackmon. ABC-TV picked one of his first new efforts, "Good Things Are Happening," for its fall 2001 TV campaign. After that, good things did happen. He wrote enough good songs to record a solo disc.

"Good Day No Rain" — released about five months ago — is an inviting, melodic work that showcases his knack for chiming hooks and strong arrangements. The acoustic-driven thrust of songs like "I Want to Know" and "In My Head" doesn't stray far afield from Gathering Field. But the cinematic production and the CD's burnished, textured feel give it more punch and warmth. Greg Wattenberg (Five for Fighting, Dishwalla) produced four tracks, and "Saturday Night Live" band member Sean Pelton drummed throughout.

"That was the caliber of studio cats I had playing on it," Deasy said. "It was a wonderful experience. I just went for it."

He went so far as to showcase at labels while in New York. Nothing materialized. Still, at a time when singer-songwriters rule once more — John Mayer, Pete Yorn, and others — Deasy seems destined to break through. He's already put together a band to back him as he tours behind "Good Day No Rain."

"I'm enjoying this stage of everything," he said. "I have a new band, and I'm real thrilled to be performing again and reaching out to people. And I love this record; that's the center of everything. I'm real proud of it."

-Dave Richards - Erie Times-News


Here's a nice piece featuring a performance by the band which aired on the CBS television affiliate in Pittsburgh.

Got to the url below and click on Bill Deasy.

http://www.kdka.com/local/kdcountryvideo



- KDKA


Discography

GOOD DAY NO RAIN (Bill Deasy) - The newest release by Bill Deasy features "Blue Sky Grey," "I Want To Know," "In My Head" and Prisoner" as heard on radio stations nationwide.

SO CLOSE TO HOME (The Gathering Field)

SPRING LIES WAITING (Bill Deasy)

RELIANCE (The Gathering Field)

LOST IN AMERICA (The Gathering Field) - the overwhelming success of the title track led to a recording deal with Atlantic Records.

THE GATHERING FIELD (The Gathering Field)

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Former lead singer/songwriter of the Gathering Field whose single "Lost in America" made such a splash at radio that Atlantic Records scooped up the band and released the album.

Now a solo artist with a brand new band behind him, Bill continues the same musical route that sets him apart from others in the same genre.  All Music Guide sums it up nicely by saying "Sensitive singer/songwriters are a dime a dozen but really good ones are a rarity.  Bill Deasy is the real deal. In a perfect world, you'd already know this."

Whether it's a solo performance or one with the new band it's always the same high energy and mesmerizing performance.  Whether it's a small room or arena (Bill has played both and everything in-between) the audience always walks away feeling like it was worth the trip.

Bill has shared stages with Kim Richey, Norah Jones, Bob Dylan, Rosanne Cash, John Mellencamp, Todd Snider, Monte Montgomery, Patty Griffin and The Clarks.  If he looks familiar, well...he's also been featured on television since August of 2001, singing a song called "Good Things Are Happening" for a Good Morning America Promo campaign.

In keeping with his eclectic group of accomplishments, he has also gained notoriety as a songwriter for other people.  He has had songs recorded by a wide array of artists including Kim Richey, British pop star Howard Jones, Bijou Phillips, Michael Stanley and country singers Billy Ray Cyrus and Martina McBride.