The Princeton Packet
Un article paru dans un journal du New Jersey ou Sucrepop est cité.
I just wanted to send you a little article from the newspaper about the evelution of BILLY BAND. I would never have done it without you. Thank you and Sucrepop-My French Connection.
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From: BILLY BAND
Here is a nice article that was just put out in The Princeton Packet and it's sister papers.
The French Connection
Late bloomer Bill Knego has recorded his first CD at age 52, but is inspired by Harry Truman, who also got a late start.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008 3:27 PM EDT
By Susan Van Dongen Princeton Packet
Bill Knego of Plainsboro has released his first CD, I Just Can't Believe.
Jerry Lewis and Bill Knego have something in common — they have both been praised by the French.
The Plainsboro resident recently completed a CD of original music, released under the group name Billy Band.
Through his MySpace page, he was contacted by http://www. sucrepop. com/, a Web site in France, and the facilitator asked for a copy of his CD, titled I Just Can’t Believe. They listened to his podcast and reviewed the work, praising Mr. Knego for his touch of Dwight Twilley and Tom Petty.
A rough translation of the review says I Just Can’t Believe is “...pop American until the end of the nails. Billy well did to break his moneybox to be done this beautiful gift.”
Did he indeed break his “moneybox?”
”I spent a lot of money,” says Mr. Knego, 52. “But it’s been spread out over the last few years and my wife, Lois, has been supportive.”
It started with a resolution New Year’s Day, 2003. Mr. Knego had been writing songs for a couple of decades, and he knew they were good, but he wanted to take them out of his private music room and bring them to the public.
”You reach a certain age and you say, ‘I know I write well, I can do this,’ but life goes by and you don’t do it,” he says. “I decided, ‘That’s it, I’m going to do something with these songs.’ I didn’t know anybody in the music business, so the plan was just to get out and start playing in front of people. The first time was the hardest, but I just took it slowly, one week at a time.”
Singer-songwriter-friendly places in New Brunswick like Tumulty’s and the Court Tavern hosted open mike nights, which welcomed Mr. Knego’s live performances. For two years, once or twice a week he performed, gauging the audience’s positive response to his originals, and boosting his confidence.
His next move was to get a professional-sounding demo made. Through musicians he met in the area, he found Rubberball Productions in North Brunswick, an analog studio run by owner/engineer Terry Hughes.
”I explained to Terry that I had no band — it was just me and my tunes,” Mr. Knego says. “But I wanted to make a demo that would sound like a bunch of people who had been playing together forever. Terry pulled out his little black book of musicians and ‘Billy Band’ was born. The CD started out as just a few songs in different styles — country, rock, even a Christmas song with a Mexican feel. They’re not even my best songs and I have a ton more.
”But they came out so well, my wife said, ‘This is your dream, go for it, do a whole CD,’” he adds. “We finally hit 12 songs.”
With polished production, solid musicianship and quality songs in the vein of the Eagles, Tom Petty and even the Beatles, I Just Can’t Believe is a little local gem that has found its way around the world, thanks to the Internet.
”I put it out by myself, with no connections, but MySpace has been a godsend and has (provided me with) unbelievable contacts all around the world,” Mr. Knego says. “It got play via the Internet in France, Germany, England, Ireland and Russia. When I saw the review from France, I said, ‘Wow, this is amazing.’ I really felt good and then I wondered, ‘How do I get something to happen here?’”
The fact that Rubberball Productions is an analog studio fits in perfectly with Mr. Knego’s do-it-yourself sense of creativity.
”Everyone uses digital technology, where you can cut and paste just like on a computer,” he says. “Terry isn’t into the new technology, and it costs him money because more people want to record digitally. Of course, it takes longer. You make a mistake and you have to stop the tape, go back and start again. But this is the way the Beatles, the Stones and the Who recorded.”
Raised in Iselin, Mr. Knego has lived in Plainsboro for 14 years. He worked for Verizon, but recently retired after three decades. Currently, he’s waiting to see where his CD and songs might go and isn’t trying too hard to find another job.
Mr. Knego’s mother has Alzheimer’s and is in a nursing home in Hazlet, where he frequently visits with his guitar. He entertains the men and women who are coping with Alzheimer’s but also plays for folks in the home who are not as ill. They all enjoy his music, and he believes he might even be reaching a few of the patients, breaking through the mysterious twilight of their Alzheimer’s.
About the CD, Mr. Knego can finally say “I tried, and I did it,” even if a huge number of people don’t hear his songs. In addition to being influenced musically by giants of classic rock, he greatly admires former President Harry Truman.
”Truman’s biography was an inspiration,” Mr. Knego says. “Life didn’t take off for him until his late 50s and nobody expected him to succeed. But it wasn’t too late for him, and it’s still not too late for me.”
Billy Band’s I Just Can’t Believe is available through http://www. cdbaby. com/.
Bill Knego on the Web: www.myspace. com/billyband99