Bill Wren: The Texas Songbird
The Songs of the Wren
Every bird watcher is familiar with a wren - a songbird known for the splendid timbre it emits. However, there exists a special type of melodic 'wren' that has migrated from Texas to Michigan - and back again! This wren is Bill Wren - an award-winning songwriter and musician. This is the story of the flight of this Texas songbird.
The Wren as a Hatchling
Bill Wren was born at the US Naval base in Corpus Christi, Texas in 1951. By the time he could walk, he was already focused on music. Bill says, "My grandparents took me to a college football game. There I saw a marching band up close, and I was deeply moved. It was then that the spirit of muse entered me." With his father in the Navy, Bill's family moved often, spending time in California, and settling for a while in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Bill spent his formative years in Ypsilanti, and it would be there that the muses would take a permanent hold on his life as a young, musical "hatchling."
The Beatles Invade the Nest!
Bill was fourteen when he saw The Beatles perform on the Ed Sullivan show. It wasn't long before he purchased a bass guitar at a local music store and learned to play. Bill answered a newspaper ad looking for a bass player and joined his first band called The Unspecified. In 1964, while still in high school, Bill's band performed the Fab Four's "Day Tripper" in a regional battle of the bands' competition. The screaming audience went wild, and it was in that moment Bill's world changed forever. Bill would spend the next fifteen years performing in Rock bands that stretched from Ann Arbor, Michigan to central Texas. He knew what he wanted to do with his life the very moment four Beatles invaded his nest!
A Migration and Transformation
It wasn't long though before his home state of Texas beckoned Bill back. Wren had migrated south, but he continued to play bass in and around central Texas. When Bill turned thirty he put down the bass and left music for the business world. While he was running his business, he decided to learn acoustic guitar and how to finger pick. Bill wrote his first songs, "Ships of Wood" and "Prisoner" soon after. Upon retiring recently, he decided to build a little music studio, and his songwriting became more of a focus. Bill says, "A very funny thing happened, and the songs just started flowing!" After a twenty-five year detour through the business world, Bill returned to music, but he was now much more than a bass player- he was a songwriter. It had been a long migration and a prolific transformation.
A Style in Flight
Bill's musical style focuses on the desire to move people with emotion. Bill explains, "I want to create music that moves the human heart in a positive direction." His compositions stem from life experience and are an extension of stylistic foundations laid by other musicians in other genres. Wren often blends Jazz, Blues and Rock. However, he also adds the warmth and sophistication of Orchestration to his music. Bill owes this development of style to the Moody Blues. They introduced him to mixing blues and rock with Orchestrated music with such hits as "Nights in White Satin." Bill's gift is an ability to blend genres seamlessly with melodies that take off into the sky - and there is a style in their flight!
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