Birds of a Feather by Shotgun Bill with the Tango Kid | INTERVIEW
Author: Thommy Delaney

He's Americana, he's country, and he has the blues! As an artist, Bill Anania (also known as Shotgun Bill) is truly unique! Combining different styles of music, his new album with the Tango Kid (also known as Scott Yetka) entitled "Birds of a Feather" is a prime example of what Bill can do sonicly. In this exclusive interview with BlowUp Radio, we'll talk to Bill about his music and find out more details about his latest album as well. So without further ado, here is Shotgun Bill!

Hey there Bill! Congratulations on your recent album, "Birds of a Feather," with the Tango Kid! Tell us a bit about how you guys began working together and what the meaning is behind the name of the album.

We met in Jr. high around 50 years ago playing trumpet in the band and then a while later we were in a band together in the early 1980's. Then years passed and life moved on and then in 2017 we met up again and started working together on my 2nd album " Train Cars, Prison Bars and a White Guitar". Then we just kept going, 2019, we added .."with the Tango Kid" to our albums and released "Lonesome Cowboys". We started our next album and Covid hit! This put the project on hold, but during the pandemic I wrote a number of songs that went together, so when the quarantine lifted, 2020, we recorded the " Quarantined" EP.

After that we continued working on the "Lack of Luxury" album and was finally released in 2021. So then we took a few months off and started working on our latest album, "Birds of a Feather" which took us longer than expected, and finally releasing it in the Fall of 2023. I think the title song just describes our friendship throughout the decades and how we work so well together, its been a great run.

You have a unique blend of numerous styles on the album! What were some of the styles of music you listened to growing up and which of them have influenced you most as a musician?

I am a product of the 1970's. My 1st influences were the Beatles, Chicago, America , the Eagles... etc. But by the 1980's I was introduced to NRBQ, Rockpile, Dave Edmunds, Nick Lowe and the whole Rock a Billy genre. I think I have a mix of all of them in my music.

Out of all the songs, "The Best Is Yet To Come" is by far one of the most different kinds of tracks on this album! I loved the arrangement of the song which makes it sound more 70s Americana and even a bit more modern than some of the other tracks! What is the subject matter of this song and what was it that moved you to write it?

This was an introspective song, it kind of says, I'm not getting any younger, and many things are behind me, but don't count me out yet. My best is still out there maybe.

Another interesting track was "For the Love of You." To my ears, it reminds me of a pop song straight out of the swinging 60s! Being that a few of the songs have a folksy country and sometimes bluesy vibe, we're trying to do something completely different with this track? Also as you were writing the song, did this arrangement come to mind immediately or did that come later on in the studio?

This is my "Buddy Holly" type song, just an homage to that early 1960's sound. I actually started writing that song in the 1980's and finished it 40 years later. The guitar arrangement is all "Rob Butkowski, of the Black Flamingo's. I think he did a great job.

The Tango Kid (Scott Yetka) wrote some songs as well! One of them, which is the longest song on the album, is called "We Took Each Other's Hands." The arrangement of this song from the chord choices, the beautiful piano and guitar parts, the wind chime, thr harmonica solo, and of course the harmonies make this song so perfect! Did you two arrange this song together? If so, how did you come to arrange the song the way you did?

This song was personal to Scott and he did all the arranging and production on this song. He also played piano on the song, a first for him on our albums. I provided the bass line and emotional support!

For those who love wild west stories, the song "Wild Bill" will definitely be a must listen! Where did the story of Wild Bill originate from?

I am a big Wild West buff, if you look back though my albums you will see the pattern of songs about Trains, Jails and Cowboys. The last album I wrote a song about the outlaw "Black Jack Ketchum" and for this album I decided to do a biographical song about Wild Bill Hickock. I tried to keep it historically correct.

You have included a song by Johnny Mercer called "I'm an Old Cowhand." Why did you decide to cover this particular song?

Scott came up with this, he recorded it one day that I wasn't in the studio and this is the version you hear with very little additions except when I added the bass and all the OO's. I this it came out great and maybe some TV show or Movie can pick it up!!!!

Are there any more shows coming up for you in future?

I run "MAC's Cafe" at the Middletown Arts Center every month, also I run two coffee houses, 1st Cup in Atlantic Highlands and Booskerdoo's Coffee in Middletown once a month. I also will do various venues throught the area when asked and I am always available.

Now that 2023 is winding down, what do you have planned for next year?

I think we will be going back into the studio next year with a new project, which hopes to be fun and a long time coming.

Is there anything you would like to say to our readers?

Feel free to listen to my music on Spotify, Apple, Amazon, You Tube... etc. I think the internet streaming is a great thing, I have listeners all over the world and I think its great when you can pull listeners from all the corners of the earth. Music... the international language.

Artist Bio
Shotgun Bill is......Bill Anania. In 2016, I released my 1st solo CD " The B-Sides" and in the summer of 2017 I released my 2nd solo project "Train Cars, Prison Bars ...and a White Guitar" My next album " Shotgun Bill with the Tango Kid- Lonesome Cowboys" released April 2019. In 2020 , the “Quarantined" EP. In 2021, "Shotgun Bill with the Tango Kid- Lack of Luxury".




About the Author: Thommy Delaney is a Senior Music Business Major at New Jersey City University. He is also the lead guitarist and a vocalist in the Bayonne Indie pop-rock band BreakTime: a four-piece writing modern pop tunes with generous vintage allusions to artists such as The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. Looking for something new to listen to? Be sure to follow BreakTime @breaktimelivenj on social media and stream their music on all platforms.

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