The American landscape has been a major theme for New Hampshire-based singer/songwriter Bill Staines. His songs have captured the beauty of rivers, mountains, and the open space of the American West. Staines' ability to write songs that seem like traditional folk songs has made him a favorite source of new material. His original tunes, including "The Roseville Fair," "River," "Wild, Wild Heart," "Yellowstone Winds," and "A Place in the Choir (All God's Critters)," have been covered by such artists as Nanci Griffith, Jerry Jeff Walker, Grandpa Jones, Fairport Convention, Priscilla Herdman,Gordon Bok, and Mason Williams.
Although his country-folk tunes reflect on the personalities, lifestyle, and environment of such places as Wyoming, Colorado, and Alaska, Staines hails from Lexington, MA, a small city northwest of Boston. As a youngster, Staines was heavily inspired by the folk scene in Boston and Cambridge in the early '60s. Together with a junior high school friend, Dick Curtis, and his younger brother, John, who later played with the Pousette-Dart Band, Staines formed a folk band, the Green Mountain Boys. Although the Curtis brothers preferred old-timey string music and bluegrass, Staines remained tied to romantic folk ballads. Staines later organized and ran a student folk music coffeehouse, The Barn, at Lexington High School. The experience prepared him when he became the host of a weekly open-mike hootenanny at the folk music venue Club 47 in Harvard Square. Staines gained popularity as a songwriter when Randy Burns & the Skydog Band recorded his first original song, "That's the Way It's Going to Go in Time," in 1966. He released his debut album, Bag of Rainbows, the same year.
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