Singer/Songwriter Billy Maines, whose repertoire spans the genres of Americana, Alternative Rock, and the Blues, describes his music as “Heinz 57.” It would seem that his life experiences fit that same descriptor. His journey has brought him from the foothills of the Catskill Mountains, over to the front range of the Rockies, and now to the flatland of the Mississippi Delta.
Maines grew up in Saugerties, New York (a village on the Hudson River near Woodstock). He started taking guitar lessons at an early age and played in various rock bands during high school. While attending college at Cortland College in New York, Billy began honing his writing skills for a performing duo. After graduation, Maines relocated to Boulder, Colorado, where the wide open music scene inspired his writing and encouraged his performing with different bands up and down the Rockies. His most recent move brought him to Lake Beulah, Mississippi in 2004, where he learned to appreciate the rich heritage of the music of Mississippi and was inspired to form an original rock band called The Rind. After the band dissolved, Billy began to perform as a solo artist and continues to do so today.
Along with guitar, Maines plays harmonica, mandolin, and fiddle. Like his musical influences Neil Young, John Prine, Jackson Browne, Bob Dylan, and the Band, his music runs the gauntlet of reflective ballads to searing electric rock tracks with a lot of upbeat acoustic in between. Maines writes serious lyrics influenced by life experiences and sometimes even political or social issues, but he can also write catchy tunes for kids. (He often performs as Mr. Watermelon Head for children at libraries and festivals.) From festival stages to intimate venues, Maines seems at home entertaining both children and adults with his original and cover tunes.
Currently, Maines is working the regional circuit in the Mississippi Delta, performing his original music and working on his guitar and fiddle chops. While he’d like to form another band, he is spending intentional time working on his writing. He has racked up five albums worth of original music, and seems inspired and motivated to keep working on his craft. Billy Maines and his music are a patchwork of influences, people, and places he’s seen and lived, and it’s exciting to see what the next stitches will bring.