Billy Kemp

Musician and Artist in Nashville, Tennessee

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My name is Billy Kemp and I'm a musician. I've been playing the guitar for forty-five years. I also play the banjo, the harmonica, and the piano. I am currently performing, recording, and touring with Jeni & Billy, an Appalachian Folk duo. Jeni and I live in Nashville, Tennessee, where we have hung our hats infrequently for ten years. We spend much of our time on the road averaging five or six tours annually that take us all over the United States, Canada, and the British Isles. We have recorded six albums and have written over one hundred songs. As a sideman, I played guitar and bass for roots music artists for twenty years in folk, rock, blues, and country. I have also worn the hat of producer, facilitator, teacher, and composer. I produced in the mid-Atlantic area for fifteen years, facilitated a music program at the Baltimore City Detention Center for five years, taught at the University of Maryland Baltimore County for ten years, and composed music for Maryland Public Television for three years. Making things out of music is what I like to do. I enjoy writing songs with Jeni, recording them, and then performing them. Writing music for songs is something I've been doing for forty years. Playing music is on the schedule everyday unless we are on the highway, the rails, or in the air and, even then, I'm making things on my tablet. I practice scales on the guitar and banjo nearly everyday because it keeps me close to our instruments, and invariably new musical ideas emerge just after I play scales. Usually, I record those ideas on my tablet and later some will become songs. The things I like to do other than music are: yoga, walking, cooking, reading, and playing in the dirt or at least outside. My sister recently told Jeni that, "my brother always wanted to be a farmer" and there may be some truth in that. I can say, like the farmer, I am always hopeful.

  • Work
    • Jeni & Billy