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BILL CURRERI- SINGER/SONGWRITER ANNOUNCES THE RELEASE OF HIS NEW ALBUM SON OF AN AMERICAN DREAM – Sept. 2, 2014
BILL CURRERI- SINGER/SONGWRITER
ANNOUNCES THE RELEASE OF HIS NEW ALBUM
SON OF AN AMERICAN DREAM – Sept. 2, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: N.Y., N.Y. 23 June 2014
Son of An American Dream isn’t only the title of Bill Curreri’s new album—it’s who he is. Born to Italian immigrant parents, Curreri grew up in the midst of New York’s Greenwich Village during the headiest of times, the cultural cauldron that was the 1960s. He was there when a young Bob Dylan played folk songs for anyone who’d stop and listen in Washington Square Park, and he witnessed world-famous rock stars hanging out with the locals after finishing their sets at the renowned Fillmore East. But although he was a budding musician and songwriter in his own right, Curreri’s own creative dreams were deferred. Offered a recording contract by a major label while still in his twenties, he turned it down, opting instead to enter the world of advertising in order to support himself and his family. He rose in the ranks, becoming a huge success, and although he continued to compose and perform, music remained a sideline.
Until now. Having left the corporate rat race behind, Bill Curreri is finally making good on a promise he made to himself years ago: to return to his music. Son of An American Dream is the work of an artist who in one sense is a relative newcomer but who simultaneously brings a maturity to his music—deriving from his life experiences—that younger artists simply can’t claim.
“I’ve been told, ‘It’s strange that you’re doing it now,’” Curreri says, “and to that I say, ‘I’m very fortunate that I’m doing it now because I have so many stories to tell, so many life lessons to give, so many mistakes I’ve made along the way, that I can now share with others.’ Hopefully, I can inspire others to avoid the mistakes I made and to learn from my positive life experiences. I could not have been as successful when I was younger as I think I can be today.”
Son Of An American Dream follows Long Time Gone, the first album Curreri recorded after retiring from the workaday world, but in many ways it’s very different. For that debut, Curreri wrote the songs but put the recording process nearly entirely into the hands of his co-producers, Roger Fife (who also played bass on the record) and Sammy Merendino (who doubled on drums). In addition to writing all of the music, Curreri's role on Long Time Gone was primarily to contribute both lead and harmony vocals, with relatively modest and limited production input in the studio. This time, however, he took a more proactive role, working more closely with the producers and the musicians in shaping the overall album. “I wanted it to be a bigger-sounding album,” he says, “and more focused on a style that I saw myself going in.”
That style—influenced by boomer-generation icons like the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and the Byrds, as well as a cross-section of singer-songwriters ranging from Jackson Browne and Tom Petty to Bob Seger and Cat Stevens—is best described as a hybrid of classic rock and contemporary Americana, with elements of pop, R&B and country entering the mix. Fife and Merendino are back, joined by keyboardist Chris Palmaro, guitarist and mandolinist John Putnam and Katia Floreska providing backup vocals. Son Of An American Dream features 10 songs composed by Curreri, most new with a couple dating back to his pre-retirement days. Nearly all of them draw from Curreri’s own life experiences, and many bear dual meanings. The title track, which opens the recording, is one of the album’s most rocking and most poignant. It’s very close to its author’s heart.
“Basically, it’s an homage to my mother and father and my grandparents—my family,” says Curreri. “They came here from Italy and had no education—then the Great Depression got in the way and they had to go to work, followed immediately by World War II. I really didn’t understand what they’d gone through as I was growing up, but toward the end of their lives I understood exactly where they were coming from.” For Curreri, the song also serves as a lesson to the younger generation now coming up. “My daughters, nieces and nephews may not have the same opportunities that we did—I feel the cards are stacked against them today. So it’s also an inspirational song for them and their generation. The refrain, ‘I’m gonna make some changes in my life,’ is to tell them you can do it but you’ve got to get involved. You can’t take no for an answer.”
Many of the other tracks on Son Of An American Dream also work on multiple levels, for example the easy-flowing “To See You Again.” Says Curreri, “On the surface it’s a love song but the underlying theme is my love song to music itself: I want to go back, I want to see you again. It’s my love song to going back to music.” The track “She’s Still Got A Hold On Me,” says Curreri, on one level is “about someone you won’t let go of emotionally while on another level about the dreams we all would like to aspire to and acknowledging when it’s time to finally let them go."
Of the other tracks, “With Lydia” is a paean to Curreri’s partner in life, while “Fade Away,” the album’s hard-rocking second track, is simply “a song about reality—what is truth and what is not.” The driving “Hold On To Your Heart” is Curreri’s reflection on the debilitating effects of a broken relationship. “Every day I would remind myself hold on, don’t let this sour you on other people,” he says. “Last Chance For Changes,” with its funky Hendrixian guitar riffs, has its roots in an earlier time in Curreri’s life and focuses on the ’60s counterculture. “We always felt that we were gonna change the world and some of us have become part of the system,” Curreri comments. “It’s basically about how you never know when it’s going to be over so if you’re going to make a change, take your shot.” Another looking-back song, in a sense, is the acoustic-based “Captain Jack,” inspired by a long-ago New York City children's TV host. In the song, Curreri sings, “The morning's now a different pace. That child-like look has left our face. And in its place there is no Captain Jack.” The song “looks back fondly at a time in one's life that is gone forever, never to be reclaimed," he says.
Finally, the album ends with the back-to-back “Pain Is Coming” and “I’m Alright Now.” The two tracks are meant to be two sides of a story, says Curreri. The former, about an emotionally abusive relationship the singer endured, gives way to the finale, in which Curreri pays tribute to a troubled close friend he lost along the way. With each life-changing event behind him, he has become stronger and more positive: “I’m Alright Now.” As with all of the songs on Son Of An American Dream, the lyrics speak to the keen observations and nuanced emotions accumulated by the author over the years in his daily life.
What Curreri has discovered since previewing the music on Son Of An American Dream is that the songs are finding universal appeal beyond his own peer group. “I’m noticing a relatively close male-female split in my audience and people of a wide range of ages, some as young as their twenties,” he says. “That’s been my goal, to get the music out to as many different people as possible. Now my dream is to take it on tour and play these songs live. But I'm especially hopeful that my music can inspire young kids today so that they too can achieve their American Dream.”
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