Billy Kay is a one-of-a-kind artist and a rare breed of man. He is true to his heart and even truer to his song. Billy is a homeless Veteran, currently living in a shelter in Lexington, South Carolina. He travels America writing, recording and performing on his now-famous “Abject Poverty Tour”. Billy donates a share of all royalties and merchandise sales to various charities, and gets to work with top-tier musicians who often donate their skills to the cause – or work for the price of a cheeseburger! Take for example, his breakout hit “Ready… Set… Gone!” 100% of the proceeds go to The Shade Tree (a battered women’s shelter) for posterity. He also organized 2011′s “Country for a Cause” CD, which featured some of the most talented – and award winning – indie musicians on the indie country music scene.
I guess by now, you’ve started to get the picture of the dignity and depth of the man. But what about Billy Kay, the musician? Well, Billy started playing the accordion at age 5, and knowing that it would be impossible to “pick up women” with an accordion, he convinced his mom to let him switch to guitar at age seven. Since then his guitar has been his constant companion for 4 decades, and after going public with his songs three years ago, he’s since been played all over the world.
Loaded with the humanist touches that differentiate his brand of modern country from that of the Nashville crooners, “Ready… Set… Gone!” continues Billy Kays’ streak of exciting, fresh-faced songs. It’s not just that the South Carolina singer has created a platform that offers something for every country music devotee, the instrumentation and song structures slant toward the traditional, the booming sound hints at southern fried and rock, the lyrical stance is as progressive and profound as it gets, but the fact that Billy clearly reaches out to each of these factions, and sounds so natural doing it.
Among Billy Kays’ contributions to the country sound, is the infusion of that old-time rock and roll spirit, to Nashville’s classic conventional mold. On “Ready… Set… Gone!”, Billy once again drinks from that fruitful well with great results.
Another point that separates Billy and “Ready… Set… Gone!”, from the rest of Country’s repertory, is the strength of his female characters. He leaps above easy cliches, and his song embodies the respect, Billy approaches the so-called fairer sex with. Here he deals with abused women and the courage it takes, for them to get out of a bad relationship. This makes Billy not only a talented and caring Country performer, but one who’s easy to admire.
The aspect of being a goodwill mercenary, spontaneously ‘fighting’ to conquer the adversities and hardships in the lives of others, despite himself being homeless and living in a shelter, quite frankly turns my personal admiration into wholehearted respect. Over and above the seriously good music, there couldn’t be a better reason to purchase your copy of “Ready… Set… Gone!”
“As long as people keep listening, I’ll keep writing. And I get to tell people about those less fortunate than themselves, in the process. Of all the directions my life could have taken, I consider myself blessed to be where I am,”- Billy Kay.
OFFICIAL LINKS & WEBSITESBilly Kay: "Ready... Set... Gone!" Leaps Above The Country Cliches!,