Bill Scorzari- Now I’m Free review

Bill Scorzari Now I’m Free

Bill Scorzari is entirely himself.

Confident and heartfelt, Bill Scorzari is one of the most impressive troubadour discoveries of the last ‘however many years it has been since I first heard Sam Baker.’ And like Baker, Scorzari simply improves with each release, finding new ways to explore and depict our human challenges.

So intense is the album, one is left drained after spending an hour leaning into its taut verse and majestic melody. From “Over Again”:

Words poured out hard as rain.
Hurtful, like hurricanes.
Meanings unwind and I’m trying to explain,
but the thunder’s so loud.
I know you can’t hear me now.

If Now I’m Free has a central thesis, it may well be the above opening verse from the album’s second track. Scorzari weaves complex interpersonal mysteries throughout the breadth of Now I’m Free, searching for the threads that allow him insight into the decisions that result in love, abandonment, forgiveness, and hope.

With a spoken-word approach to singing, Scorzari places emphasis on his landscapes of lyrics, creating vivid portraits of men and women searching for elusive elements leading to understanding or grace, depending on circumstance.

Recorded live in the studio with folks like Will Kimbrough (guitar, mandolin, and/or piano on six tracks), Juan Solorzano (guitars and lap steel, ten tracks), and long-ago Fervor Coulee favourite Megan McCormick (lap steel on five tracks with effective harmony vocal on one, “When Will My Time Come Along”), Now I’m Free is presented uncluttered: the focus is on Scorzari’s voice, with the instruments balanced in a manner that never forces unwarranted competition. Kudos to producer Neilson Hubbard.

For those not interested in pouring oneself completely into an album, Now I’m Free provides plenty of chances for opportune listening. Individual tracks hold-up well, with “Treat Me Kind,” “It All Matters,” and the uncharacteristically raucous “You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone” sounding like country-radio singles ready for my favourite stations (CKUA, WDVX, Radio Bristol, WBCM). “Yes I Will” and “New Mexico (I to Mine)” are as appealing, if significantly word-heavy, sprawling emotional epics.

In these anxiety-fueled days of confusion and uncertainty, it is lovely to find an album written and performed ‘straight from the heart’ without cloying clichés. Fifteen songs of emotional soul-searching and confession, Now I’m Free will be on many roots ‘best of’ releases later this year. Don’t wait for those recommendations—locate it now. I believe you will be as impressed as I am. 73-minutes of truth-telling precision.

Review of Scorzari’s previous Through These Waves here.

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