Santa Fe Bandstand Presents

Bill Hearne and The Derailers

Folk, Country

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Honkytonks, roadhouses, empty whiskey glasses, unrequited love are the brick and mortar of country music and there isn’t a better mason than Bill Hearne… Bill Hearne calls it ‘The Road:’ that metaphorical ribbon of honky-tonks, roadhouses, empty whiskey glasses, prison cells and unrequited love line with signposts and mile markers tattooed with names like Haggard, as in Merle, Williams, as in Hank, Owens, as in Buck and Lovett, as in Lyle. Being legally blind, Bill has never actually driven The Road himself, but he sings with such authority of the tales he’s heard while riding shotgun that you’d never know it. Bill doesn’t write his own songs. His greatness lies in his interpretive skills. His husky Texas baritone finds its way into a song’s interior with the mellowness of fine bourbon and the warmth of a Sunday picnic. And of course, there’s his pickin’, a style he calls ‘cross picking.’

In a career that has given rise to more than a decade’s worth of fine-tuned, highly anticipated and wonderfully received music, the Derailers continue to build the relationship between song, listener and dance floor. In terms of sound, the Derailers have gotten smoother with age. As Hofeldt puts it, “I think we have retained the path we are going for. But we have certainly grown as players and allowed other influences to come in.” Their music celebrates the legacies of Buck Owens, George Jones, Roy Orbison, Elvis Presley, Charlie Rich and the Beatles, while still being on the edge of today’s country music. Hofeldt describes his view of country music as, “finding out what love really is, versus what you thought it was when you were a kid.”

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