Markus Rill is Europe's premier Americana artist. The gravel-voiced singer-songwriter and guitar picker has released six albums full of finely crafted songs and passionate performances.
His latest, "The Price Of Sin", was released throughout Europe in May 2006 to spectacular reviews that compare Rill's writing to that of luminaries like Steve Earle, Tom Waits, James McMurtry and Lucinda Williams. The CD quickly climbed to the #3 spot on the EuroAmericana chart and ended up on numerous year-end best lists from journalists and radio DJs all over Europe.
The album's 12 captivating songs showcase Rill's somber, more acoustic side. Produced by Rill and Nashville's Tone Chaperone George Bradfute, "The Price Of Sin" was recorded with some of the most in-demand musicians on the Americana scene: Fats Kaplin (Tom Russell, Dead Reckoners), Dave Jacques (John Prine, Patty Griffin, Todd Snider), Bryan Owings (Buddy Miller, Shelby Lynne) and Dave Coleman (The Coalmen).
Rill is the only German artist on the prestigious Blue Rose label, home of Kris Kristofferson, Steve Earle, Buddy Miller, Dwight Yoakam, and John Hiatt on the old continent. His stellar songwriting has been recognized several times by competitions like the ISC International Songwriting Competition with 15,000 entries and a judge's panel including Tom Waits, Loretta Lynn and Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls, the international Unisong contest, the Singer-Songwriter Awards and the American Songwriter magazine competition.
Since the release of his debut album in 1997, Markus Rill has toured extensively throughout Europe and the US, headlining and sharing stages with Townes van Zandt, Chris Knight, Steve Wynn, Hal Ketchum, The Drive-By Truckers, John Wesley Harding, Elliott Murphy, and others. He has also recorded with Duane Jarvis (Lucinda Williams, Dwight Yoakam, Peter Case) and Steve Conn (Sonny Landreth, Bonnie Raitt, Mark Knopfler).
Three of Rill's songs are featured in American independent films slated for theatrical release in 2006/early 2007.
Rill honed his craft in the mid-90ies in Austin, TX. playing tons of open mics and graduating to regular gigs while studying American literature at the University of Texas.
What the critics are saying:
"First-rate songs ... he could give those guys in Texas a few lessons"
"Sharply drawn flesh & blood-characters … a songwriter with boot-dirt authenticity"
(Miles Of Music/USA)
"Songs shimmering beautifully with ambiguity … brilliant lyrics"
"If voices were highways, Markus Rill's would be gravel ... like Steve Earle, Tom Waits and Lucinda Williams, he excels at songwriting"