Bill Scorzari, a prolific songwriter, has taken his craft to new heights and deeper depths with his 4th studio album, The Crosswinds of Kansas, which will be independently released on August 19th.
Some of the lyrics and music for The Crosswinds of Kansas were written during Scorzari’s three-month-long Now I’m Free Tour across the United States in 2019. The new album’s beginnings however, paradoxically coincided with the unexpected early end of the 2019 tour, precipitated by the sudden decline in the health of Bill’s then 94 year old mother.
The tour itself (and the final four-day drive home at the tour’s end) became a journey of self discovery, with Bill ultimately arriving at a new awareness, and finding the will and strength to adapt, persevere and continue to create. After making his way from the east coast, toward, and then around the west coast and back, traveling under two full moons, visiting waterfalls, hiking, climbing, pondering and processing his life experiences of loss, gain and change, and at times composing haiku as a way to pass the time on the long drives between performances. He arrived back home in NY in late 2019, arranged for enhanced 24-hour health care for his mom, took a deep breath, and began to write. Some of the songs were new creations and some were reworkings of songs from his back catalog which also fit well within the themes and moods of what was becoming the new album.
The 13 original tracks on The Crosswinds of Kansas have many stories to tell— some confront the darker emotions head-on. Bill says, “I found that a lot of the songs on this record wound up having an upbeat feel, even when the lyrical content wasn’t necessarily upbeat, or at least not primarily or entirely so. It’s a very satisfying thing when that happens, like positivity shining through and prevailing over our struggles with adversity.”
Today Glide is excited to premiere “The Broken Heart Side of the Road,” a standout track on the new album that finds Scorzari recounting a hard tale of the destruction of a relationship. With its melancholy tone, Scorzari lends his gritty vocals to a work of dark Americana roots music. Mandolin, banjo, and fiddle add to the rustic imagery of the lyrics, while a lonesome Dobro and soulful background vocals give the tune a sense of spirituality and depth. The result is a song that carries a stirring energy and a haunting tale.
Bill Scorzari describes the process and inspiration behind the song:
“I started writing ‘The Broken Heart Side of the Road’ back in 2015 and then it kind of fell off my radar for a while. When I returned to New York after the end of the Now I’m Free tour in 2019, I found that it fit really well with the other songs I was writing at the time, and so I made a few changes to the lyrics and reworked the song structure until it felt right. The lyrics sprouted right out of the chord progression and, at least on some level, are grounded in time I spent in my childhood, learning from my dad how to plant and care for growing things. I especially loved being able to work a lyric into the first chorus, about the risks of planting corn too early in the season. ‘And then a cold rain in the morning corkscrewed my cold-planted corn, and then half my crop took twice the time to grow.’”
“I recorded the acoustic guitar and vocal tracks in my studio in New York in late 2020 and then met with Neilson Hubbard (drums, percussion), Michael Rinne (upright bass), Fats Kaplin (fiddle), Matt Menefee (banjo), Brent Burke (dobro) and Will Kimbrough (mandolin) at Skinny Elephant Recording in Nashville, TN in July/August of 2021 where Engineer Dylan Alldredge continued the recording as they all played their parts together live there. Later, in September of 2021, I returned to Nashville and we recorded Marie Lewey and Cindy Richardson Walker, a/k/a The Shoals Sisters, singing the backing vocals to the song.”