MP3 Bill Markham - Just for the Ride
Bluegrass with a Chicago influence
12 MP3 Songs
FOLK: Appalachian Folk, COUNTRY: Bluegrass
Bill Markham got his first guitar for Christmas at age 13. He then bought a book and taught himself how to play. He has been playing and writing songs ever since.
His musical influences are from his mother, who was from east Tennessee, so he grew up listening to Country and Bluegrass . But like most teenagers of that era, he wanted to play Rock and Roll, like Ricky Nelson and the Everly Brothers. These influences had a profound effect on his musical direction.
Bill’s dad didn’t care much for Rock and Roll. He used to yell, “Turn that damn Be-Bop music off!” Nevertheless, he just kept playing it anyway –So Bill’s music is kind of a mixture of Rock, Country and Bluegrass.
He’s been writing his own music for over 40 years. The first song on the CD is “Kelly’s Café”. This song was inspired when he and his brother, Rodger, would play every Saturday night at “Kelly’s Pub and American Grill” Sandwich, IL. Bill and his brother Rodger ( playing mandolin and harmonizing with him throughout this CD), would play right at the bar – strictly acoustic. “Kelly’s” has a dining area just off the bar with a corner booth that’s off by itself. That’s what inspired the “Café” song. The song is a sarcastic one, as one of the lines says, “What makes you think it’s over? What makes you think we’re thru - just because I saw him with his arms around you in the corner booth?”
“Teddy Bear” was inspired by all children who are trying to stay awake, even though they are sleepy.
“Before the Flowers Bloom” is a tribute to the pioneers and the person who is waiting for each of them to come home.
“In Your Dreams” is about two people breaking up after years of marriage, but not pinpointing the reason for it.
The song, “The Blue and the Gray” was inspired by the fact that both sides of the Civil War had a tremendous loss of people. They were all heroes, whether from the North or the South.
Though Bill has never sailed on a ship or even owned a boat, the fascination with those old sailing ships has always intrigued him. “The Sailors Song” and “The Wreck of the Jenny B” are about the same fictitious ship. The dangers and hardships that those early sailors faced are still unimaginable today. These songs are a tribute to them and their wives.
“Steel Rail Preacher Man” was inspired by the preachers of yesteryear, and like any man of the cloth, spreading the Word from town to town.
“ Reunion ” is about two very real people. Bill’s wife has an aunt who had been married for several years and then widowed. One of her aunts high school classmates, whose wife had also died, got in contact with her. They dated, were married and are still married to this day.
“Cheri’s Song” is an instrumental. It’s basically a fast-moving tune, representing the energy of a child, like Bills youngest daughter.
“Ragged Blue Jeans” is one of Bill’s favorites. The story is about a hard-working farmer with a loving wife and how lucky he is.
“It’s a Long, Long Road” is about a musician being on the road for most of the year, playing on one stage after another. He knows he has to keep traveling from one town to the next, no mater how tired and homesick he is.
Most of Bills songs pay tribute to the pioneers, settlers and sailors of our country. If it weren’t for their sacrifice, we would not have the blessings we have today.
I hope you enjoy the music and it takes you back in time and gets your imagination going. When you’re driving down the highway past cornfields, the sea or on your way to any destination, just remember what the early years were like without paved highways or any of today’s comforts.