ONE SHOW ONLY! Billy Thornton was brought up in a family of musicians in South Georgia, Tifton to be specific. In the midst of farms, pickup trucks, and country music, Billy and his brothers went against the grain, learning all of the alternative rock radio hits, playing them in any coffee shop that would let them (there was only one). With their father, they played jazz and smooth hits at restaurants and country clubs, and at 17, Billy fell in love with the acoustic jazz of the 1950’s and 1960’s. It is this passion for music from all genres that has kept Billy a top call sideman bassist in the southeast for the past 15 years.
As an upright bassist, Billy has been known to “steal the show” with his rhythmic slapping, melodic bowing, and expert facility as a soloist. But now he has found his voice. Literally.
As a vocalist, he aspires to honestly portray his emotion of the moment, sharing his nostalgia for the music while incorporating a jazz musician’s sense of freedom of harmony and rhythm. Billy’s jazz-style arrangements of pop and rock songs from the past four decades mix easily with jazz standards, surprising his listeners at times. His renditions of song from Nat King Cole to Britney Spears inspire audiences, transporting familiar favorites to new places of delight. The song selection vacillates easily from contemplative to whimsy, tender to raucous; all while maintaining integrity to self and the music.