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Minneapolis, MN singer/songwriter Bill Gessner's recently released CD "Welcome to Gessnerville, Population 19" takes a listener on a journey to a place filled with lightheartedness, hope and inspiration.
Bill has been writing songs over the past twenty-five years and has been inspired by the songwriting traditions of folk, country, and the musical theater. Along with his early fascination with the concept of the singing cowboy, his love of music and songwriting has been fueled by the work of a wide and diverse range of songwriters including Gene Autry, Chuck Berry, Boudeleaux and Felice Bryant, A.P. Carter, Johnny Cash, Leonard Cohen, Steve Goodman, Woody Guthrie, Bob McDill, Johnny Mercer, Roger Miller, Willie Nelson, Mickey Newbury, Buck Owens, Utah Phillips, John Prine, Malvina Reynolds, Pete Seeger, Paul Simon, Ernest Tubb, Loudon Wainwright III, and Cindy Walker.
Bill's songs aim to touch the listener with humor and heart, spirit and inspiration. He is attracted to singable melodies that are memorable in their simplicity. His goal as a songwriter is to be open and receptive to the world that he lives in and to pursue songwriting as a spiritual practice.
Welcome to Gessnerville is Bill's first full-length recording, and is produced by Peter Ostroushko, who also plays mandolin and fiddle on a number of the songs. The all-star cast of musicians also includes Chris Rosser, Dan Newton, Rich Dworsky, Diane Tremaine, Kevin Barnes, Prudence Johnson (harmony vocals), and Bob Douglas (harmony vocals).
"The songs of Bill Gessner reaffirm my belief that an observant mind,
an open heart, a sense of humor and a gentle spirit remain the cornerstones
and foundation of good songwriting."
-- Jimmie Dale Gilmore, www.jimmiegilmore.com
"Help! I'm trapped in Gessnerville... surrounded with wonderful songs, great
arrangements, fantastic musicians, and one of the best packages I've ever
seen... send help... no, send about a million more people to hear Bill's
-- David Roth, singer/songwriter, www.folkera.com/windriver/davidroth
"Engaging and eccentric."
-- Don Lange
"A mystical Woody Guthrie"
-- Carl Wilkenfeld
"Bill is a writer, a real writer, and although you can see his heart,
and his insight, and his humor, his mission is to entertain, and you come
away feeling good, and light hearted; like you may feel after seeing a
good movie.... Bill's music is like finding a second-hand store off the main
highway filled with anything you want, in new condition at low prices."
-- Charlie Maguire, singer/songwriter, www.CharlieMaguire.com