From his years of performing in the bars and concert halls from NY to Texas, to Jazz Vespers worship services, to the annual Mayville Bluegrass Festival he founded, Bill Ward has been known to his fans for some time. This recording displays the many sides of this performer, and promises to acquaint him and his band with even more listeners.
The music is eclectic, but not disjointed.
Faith, love, and family are where these songs come from, but Bill is not afraid to tackle loneliness, doubt and even depression.
He's been writing songs for a good while, and has collaborated on this project with such folks as former Bonnie Raitt guitarist Will McFarlane, and Big Leg Emma's Amanda Barton.
Ward wrote all the songs except "Table of our Lives," which was penned by Cassandra Robison, and "The Lonesome Hobo," written over 50 years ago by his dad, John Ward, who sings it on this recording.
The musicians in the Bill Ward Band are some of the best that Western NY has to offer, and the guest artists are remarkable. Ward's regulars are Tom Swanson, guitars; John Cross, saxophone; Jim Foti, drums; Paul Liuzzo, bass; and Jim Foti on Drums.
"The BWB's new album, Highway in the Desert, is a careful blend of spiritual country, swing, and blues. Production is slick and smooth... full of gorgeous melodies, surrounded by multiple layers of incredible instrumentation." - Chautauqua Region Word
"(This Disc) demonstrates his versatility and the fine music he makes, both as a popular and religious composer... It's a mixture of many styles, including honky tonk ...rockabilly, folk and country.
...I loved 'Canada Wind,' for example, a ballad... with a gentle, ambling beat.
...The late Gena Hartson sings (on the album) and it's a pleasure to hear her strong, clear voice one more time.
...Get yourself a copy." - Robert Plyler, Jamestown (NY) Post-Journal