Welcome to Act II of William Hart Strecker's life.

Sure, F. Scott Fitzgerald once famously said, "There are no second acts in American lives." In grinning defiance of that notion, Bill invites you to discover his latest CD, All This Dreaming, a work informed by a love of life...no matter how it is played out.

Strictly speaking, if you're keeping score, this is the third act of Bill's life, the one in which an epiphany triggered by a near-death experience returns him to his earliest passion, music.

As a youngster growing up on Long Island, Bill, the fifth of seven boys and girls, was persuaded to learn to play a musical instrument - a family tradition. (Bill's father was deaf and perhaps, Bill speculates, because he was unable to pursue
his musical dreams, he wanted his kids to be musicians.) Unfortunately, the trombone was chosen for Bill, and he proved particularly inept at playing it.

Turning to his vocal instrument, he began classical training and, by his teens, earning awards, including being named New York State's best high school tenor. A full scholarship for voice brought him to Baylor University in the state of Texas.

Bill's 1972 band, New Hope (on Laurie Records, home of The Chiffons and Dion and the Belmonts) released a Strecker-penned single, "Green Green Grass/Oh My Lady" and embarked on a nationwide tour. Fame, however, remained beyond the band's grasp.

As Bill continued to perform he toured up and down the east coast with a country rock-swing band called Zanzibar and after that with the Bill Strecker Band sharing the stage with the likes of Jaco Pastorius, Steve Goodman, and Richie Havens. He recorded in sessions with Noel Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul and Mary. Stookey turned legendary manager Albert Grossman (Bob Dylan, Todd Rungren) on to Bill and he holed up near Woodstock to record at Bearsville under Grossman's aegis but the relationship dissolved. At that point Bill was performing with Asleep At The Wheel,Pure Prairie League, Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen with Nicolette Larson, The Buddy Miller Band, and the Dixie Diesels, an Austin, TX band fronted by Shawn Colvin.

By the mid-1980's after playing an eight month long tour of the UK, the demands of raising a family and the rigors of a touring musician began to wear on him. And so, the curtain came down on the first act.

Architectural landscape design became Bill's occupation in 1989 and his design and construction firm grew into a success. His music went to seed, one is tempted to say. But in fact, he never stopped writing songs. And while he may not have realized it, he never lost the thirst for performing his music. It was simply not possible to design gardens, tend to growing offspring and be a working musician at the same time.

The plot turn that closes out this second stanza of William Hart Stecker's life is the one that almost took his life. In October of 1998, returning in the evening from a meeting with a client, Bill's Land Cruiser left the road and hit a tree. He remembers being cut out of the wreckage and then...nothing. Twenty days or so later, he awoke from a coma in a hospital with broken bones, a destroyed lung and other internal injuries. He was unable to walk, or eat, or talk. A long and painful regimen of physical therapy lay ahead.

It was during this arduous process that a good friend gave him a CD player and a couple of CDs to listen to during his therapy sessions. Inside the jewel case of one of them (BB King's Deuces Wild) he spotted a photograph of some of the musicians on the album, including Keith Richards and Mick Jagger. And there alongside them was Tommy Eyre, the keyboardist and co-producer from Bill's 1st album titled 'Keep On Lovin'. Not only did it bring tears to his eyes to see that after all those years his friend had persevered and built a successful career for himself, but it struck Bill as a sign. A sign that he was going to listen to the voice inside himself that had begun to tell him he had to give music one more try.

Drew Zingg was the first of the new bandmates recruited by William Hart Strecker. The phenomenally talented guitarist who has recorded and toured with Steely Dan, Boz Scaggs, Michael McDonald and Lucy Kaplansky, among others, brought Bill together with the two musicians who form the songwriting and producing core of the band behind All This Dreaming, Chris Eminizer and Ken Rich. Eminizer, equally skilled on saxophone, guitar, keyboards and fleshing out Bill's lyrical inspirations, has recorded with Janet Jackson, Paul Simon and Julia Darling, and lately has been performing in Billy Joel and Twyla Tharp's "Movin' Out" on Broadway. Ken Rich (Laurie Anderson, David Byrne, Julia Darling), originally brought in to play bass, evolved into the producer as well. On drums: Frank Vilardi, who has played with Rosanne Cash, Suzanne Vega, Rod Stewart, the Roches, Freedy Johnston, and many more. Rounding out this endowed ensemble is keyboardist George Laks, a longtime member of Lenny Kravitz's band who's worked with Joan Osborne and Natalie Merchant. These wonderfully talented musicians are found on Bill's 2nd album titled 'All This Dreaming'.

Now Bill's family of musicians continues to grow with every new recording. His new album titled 'Smoke and Clouds' will be released in August/September of 2007. With the addition of New York City's John Putnam on pedal steel guitar as well as electric and acoustic guitars the new songs take on a more down to earth sound. John has performed and recorded with Madonna, Jimmy Cliff and Cher among many other artists. Andrew Sherman is playing all the keyboards along with backround vocals. Andrew has toured with Dizzy Gillespie, Brian McKnight, George Duke and Mariah Carey along with running Fluid, one of the largest jingle houses in NYC. Greg Wieczorek (aka G. Wiz), who plays and records with Joseph Arthur & The Lonely Astronauts and The Autumn Defense (featuring John Strirratt and Pat Sansone of Wilco)is also playing drums and percussion. The additional musicians on the new album are guitarist Ben Butler, Charlie Giordano on accordion, Hugh Pool on national steel guitar, Antoine Silverman on fiddle and violin, Jodi Sheeler on vocals, Tim Luntzel on acoustic bass, Kenny Rampton on trumpet and Clark Gayton on Trombone. These newly added musicians along with the usual suspects Chris Eminizer, Ken Rich, Drew Zingg and Frank Vilardi make up one of the hottest bands playing in the New York area.

In the fall of 2006 while mixing his new album, Bill got a phone call from Mike Curb (Curb Records) saying that he really enjoyed listening to Bills last album and could he send him some more. Bill sent the new album 'Smoke and Clouds' down to Nashville, then performed a requested showcase in NY for Curb. After flying down and meeting with Curb in Nashville, Bill and his songwriting partner, Chris Eminizer, are in the process of having a number of their songs covered by a number of Curb artists.

These days, with music lovers over thirty driving the music business, magazines like Tracks emerging to celebrate the "music built to last," and organically-grown phenomena like Norah Jones setting sales records, the time could not be more right for William Hart Strecker.

The curtain rises on his third act when you break the seal on Bill's 3rd album titled 'Smoke and Clouds'. Standing ovations are sure to follow...

© Copyright 2003-2007 William Hart Strecker. All Rights Reserved
web design by Sound-n-Vision Designs