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Bloodshot Bill

A rockabilly wild man whose style leans to the grittier first-generation trailblazers of the genre, Bloodshot Bill plays raw, raucous music that rocks the house whether he's playing one-man-band style or with a combo backing him. Bloodshot Bill's music is influenced by rockabilly originators like Charlie Feathers and Billy Lee Riley, but there's also a strong thread of blues and early rock in his music, and he's less interested in the polish or dress-up slickness of many latter-day rockabilly acts, instead tapping into the wild, organic sound of primal backbeat. Bloodshot Bill summed up his worldview with the title of his first, self-released album, 2001's Sex, Blood & Rock 'n' Roll!, and he's recorded prolifically since then. After cutting for a number of small labels, he hit his stride with a series of fine albums for Norton Records -- most notably 2011's Thunder and Lightning and 2016's Guitar Boy -- and later Goner Records, who brought out 2019's Come Get Your Love Right Now and 2020's Get Loose or Get Lost. Reluctant to reveal his real name, Bloodshot Bill was born on January 1, 1976, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Of Italian and Trinidadian heritage (or as he describes himself, Trinitalian), he was hipped to cool rock & roll sounds by an older sibling with a good record collection, and he had an older cousin who was into rockabilly and played in a local band. Bill started playing drums in high school, and in his early twenties he picked up the guitar, emboldened by the primal growl of Link Wray. He started playing Montreal clubs in 1998; while he sometimes worked with a band, he was a big fan of mad genius Hasil Adkins, and Bill embraced a performing style similar to his. Often playing as a one-man band, Bloodshot Bill controlled bass drum and hi-hat with his feet and guitar with his hands while howling his songs of women, whiskey, and all manner of wild living. He developed a reputation as a strong live act and a road warrior, playing constantly and willing to travel anywhere for a gig (he claims to have once driven 24 hours straight to play a one-nighter). Bill put out his first self-released album, Sex, Blood & Rock 'n' Roll!, in 2001, while Trash Addict and Rockabilly Trash followed in 2003 and 2004. 2003 saw the release of Crazy Fever!, an album with his minimal backing band the Hubcaps, though he was back to working by himself on 2005's Dig It Up! In 2006, Bloodshot Bill's touring activities took a hit when he was busted for trying to enter the United States without the proper visa, and was forbidden to play in America for five years. Undaunted, he stayed on the road in Canada and Europe, growing his audience and collaborating with other artists, working with King Khan (aka Arish Ahmad Khan) in a project called the Tandoori Knights (they also cut a single as the Bollywood Argyles), as well as teaming with Mark Sultan (aka BBQ) in the Ding-Dongs. Bill was a serious fan of the American rock & roll label Norton Records, and it turned out the feeling was mutual, with Norton signing him and honoring his return to touring in the United States with a limited-edition single, featuring his cover of Chuck Berry's "Back in the USA." Bill's first full-length release for Norton, 2011's Thunder and Lightning, was one of his best-received albums to date, and was given a backhanded compliment when the cover artwork was swiped for an unauthorized T-shirt that was carried by Wal-Mart, with no mention of the artist. Three more albums for Norton -- 2013's The Lonesome Road, 2014's Shook Shake, and 2016's Guitar Boy -- followed, with Bill releasing a one-off for Sleazy Records, This Is It!, with the band the Hick-Ups in 2018. Bloodshot Bill next jumped to the Memphis-based garage-punk imprint Goner Records, making his label debut with 2019's Come Get Your Love Right Now. His second Goner release, Get Loose or Get Lost, was issued in 2020.
© Mark Deming /TiVo
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Discography

21 album(s) • Sorted by Bestseller

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