Bill Durst CD Release Party
by: Adam Werstine
Being the Music Editor for a local magazine, I get the opportunity to be exposed to some very cool music. This is music that I wouldn’t normally listen to, yet I have found some extremely talented and genuinely awesome musicians that live in the 519. Bill Durst is one of these fantastic musicians that I have had the pleasure of being introduced to.
Durst’s career has been going strong since before I was even a thought. Releasing 3 studio albums between 1972 and 1977 with the Ontario group “Thundermug”, then his own albums in 1984 and 1989, Durst has been rocking his own brand of blues/rock for over 40 years! For a guitarist/songwriter to still be at it after so long is a testament to Durst’s love of the music he so eloquently spouts from his guitar.
For the rest of us who don’t stick with things very long (the average teenager today will have at least 5 career changes in their lives), for Durst to have just now released yet another blues masterpiece is nothing short of miraculous. This is a live album that the band didn’t even know was being recorded. If listening to the CD on my headphones is any indication of the energy Durst brings to the stage it won’t be a show you want to miss. The guitar parts make you believe the quote from Durst’s website that “Bill Durst has long been compared to the best guitar player/singer/entertainers anywhere in the world.” No shit. This guy is amazing. I had the opportunity to talk with Bill about his new CD, the music industry, his love of blues, opening for the likes of Aerosmith, and beards.
I first asked Durst about the new CD. This album is live and was actually recorded without the band’s knowledge. “Half the songs on it are new,” he muses. “The night that we apparently recorded it, we innocently went ahead and had a great night, it was great because we weren’t self conscience at all.” Durst states that the band jams during their shows, and he doesn’t really like to have a “set list, I just try to make it up as I go, feel the crowd.”
I asked Durst what keeps him going after 40 years of music, he laughed and corrected me that he wrote his first song when he “was ten, so its been more like 50 years of music!” Holy crap. When pressed further Durst states, “I have a calling to music, I can’t help it! I understand life through music, and understand being a human being through music,” a sentiment that I think we all could relate to. Durst observes that, “the older I get, the more I like the business side of music, getting my name out there.” Then Bill Durst thanks me. Really? Thank you Bill for making the music that you do!
Being a music fan I wanted to ask Durst about why the music that he plays seems to have ebbs and flows through the decades. Why do the Blues seem to be popular one decade, and then not the next? “I think the more interesting part is that it comes back, not all styles of music do that,” Durst says. “I am happy to play that kind of music among the other kinds of blues.”
Durst is a very cool fella to talk to. He has also opened for some of music’s greatest acts, including the Yardbirds, Bad Company, Bob Seger, and Aerosmith’s very first concert in Canada! “Watching Steven Tyler turn around and stomp his foot to get the drummer to speed up, that was great,” Durst said. There were also some not-so-great times opening though. “We opened for Bob Seger and Ted Nugent,” (or as ‘the Nuge’ he laughs), “our band played overtime, and Bob Seger’s manager was screaming at us, but these are the mistakes that you make when you’re young!”
On a personal note (as a bearded guy) I had to ask Durst about his epic beard. “On September 5th, 1985, I got a call to be in the biggest bar band in the country (Tres Hombres, a ZZ Top tribute band), so the manager said, ‘start growing your beard’ so its been growing since 1985!” Wow, Bill Durst’s beard is almost as old as I am. Awesome. It was a humbling experience to talk to Durst about his illustrious career, and all of the things he has accomplished.
The CD release party for “Bill Durst Live” takes place at the Masonic Lodge in Stratford on the 20th of October. I won’t be going, because my 6-year-old son doesn’t really want to see Bill Durst live for his birthday, who can account for the taste of kids? If you don’t have a birthday party for wee kids that night, and you are in the 519, don’t miss this show!
Bill Durst wsg Dylan Wickens and the Grand Naturals
October 20th, 2012
Masonic Lodge, Stratford, ON
$25 at the door or $20 advance