Singer-songwriter Bill Mulroney’s debut album contains 13 original songs of breathtaking scope, reflecting his maturity, optimism, and reverence for the American experience. An intriguing collection of Americana, easy listening, and folk/rock songs.
The story behind Second Wind began in the fall of 2001 when I received in the mail an audio tape from a high school girlfriend, someone I hadn’t seen nor spoken to in over 25 years. The tape contained a performance that I had recorded back in 1968, around the time I graduated from high school. She had found the tape in her basement, took the trouble to locate my address, and sent me the tape. The receipt of that tape made me curious. I had stopped performing and writing music by the late 1970s, and finally abandoned my guitar altogether by 1980. At the time, I had felt stale and uninspired.
But now I wanted to revisit the music I had created so many years ago. And as I listened to my old tape recordings, something happened: suddenly, quite out of nowhere, I wanted to play my guitar and write music again. And so a personal musical journey began. I started frequenting local establishments in the Washington, D.C. suburbs to watch local performers. I got to know a number of musical artists. One of them was Phil Dirt, a vocalist and flutist who, despite severe and deforming arthritis, was a fixture in the music scene. It was Phil who told me, in the spring of 2002, to “step out on a ledge.” By that he meant I should start performing in front of audiences again.
I did in fact perform live again, beginning in the summer of 2002. My comparatively long life experience actually helped my songwriting considerably – songs like “The Man You Used To Be”, “There I’ll Be”, and “Galaxies Collide” all are clear beneficiaries of my 22 year lay-off. So is “Battleship Wisconsin”, which I wrote after a visit to that great ship in August 2002. (It would never have occurred to me to write a song about a battleship in my youth.)
By the end of 2002 I had written a bunch of songs, and was performing them at area open mikes. But a little bit of investigation revealed that the next step would require me to record my songs, and here’s where good fortune led me to the performer/producer Andy May in Nashville, Tennessee. Andy agreed to produce this C.D. after hearing several raw demo tapes of some of my material. He was a godsend. We took it slow, and did preparatory work for over six months prior to going into the studio.
The album begins with “Something Phil Dirt Said,” my humble tribute to that most memorable man, who died suddenly in November, 2002.
“Lovers Never Rest on Sunday” is a pop/rock song about the joy of a romantic relationship as day breaks.
“Freedom’s Call” is the folk/rock song about a young soldier and a miller in the very early days of the Revolutionary War, and their conflicting belief systems, their choices, and ultimately, their destinies.
“An Angel’s Come to Town” is a romantic ballad about how a man met the love of his life, and his continuing gratitude for the love of his wife.
“Young Aladdin” is a gentle song about a musical artist pursuing his dream of making it, and the sacrifices made by the single-minded pursuit of success in the world of music.
“Angela Dawson” is a fictionalized account of the story of the well known street activist in Baltimore. The tragedy of Angela Dawson is truly of Biblical proportions. Why would a just God allow such good and courageous acts to be rewarded only by violence and death? I wanted to write an Old Testament style story about this real life tragedy,and this ominous sounding rocker is the result.
In the acoustic “There I’ll Be”, a dying man speaks to his family, giving them hope and comfort, while putting his own life and relationships into perspective. I wrote the song at my wife’s request, and it is dedicated to the memory of her brother, Alex, who passed on in 2002 due to an inoperable brain tumor at the age of 43, leaving behind three teenagers, a wife, two sisters and both parents.
“Cinderella Woman” is a rocker in which a working man seeks a diversion from his otherwise unhappy life in the arms of a party girl on a Friday night.
“Battleship Wisconsin” is a folk/rock tribute to one of greatest of all Naval ships, a song that has an old fashioned “sing along” chorus.
“Galaxies Collide” is one of my favorite creations – it’s about a man who has done a hurtful and foolish thing by walking out on the woman he really loves. He is now spending his lonely nights studying a picture book about the universe from which he learns some kernels of knowledge. He speaks to his lost love and by song’s end, musters the courage to ask for her forgiveness.
A romantic theme is presented in “Baby Let’s Ride.” A man shows up unannounced at the home of a woman he is dating to take her for a motorcycle ride to experience an autumn sunset.
In “The Man You Used To Be”, a man is facing the destructive effect his alcoholism is having on his marriage.
“Ravens Fans” is a rocker about the NFL game day experience for diehard football fans – in this case, specifically Baltimore Ravens fans. It’s an exuberant song about the fun of getting ready for, and going to an NFL game to cheer on the hometown team.