Americana Highways is hosting this premiere of Bill Scorzari’s song “I-70 East” from his forthcoming release The Crosswinds of Kansas. The Crosswinds of Kansas was produced by Bill Scorzari and Neilson Hubbard; mixed by Dylan Alldredge, Neilson Hubbard and Bill Scorzari; recorded at First Thunder Recording Studios and at Skinny Elephant Recording, Nashville. It was mastered by Jim DeMaine at Yes Master Studio, Nashville. Album design was created by Anna Berman with photography by Jacob Blickenstaff.
“I – 70 East” is Bill Scorzari on vocals, acoustic and electric guitars; Danny Mitchell on Hammond B3 organ; Michael Rinne on electric bass; and Neilson Hubbard on drums and percussion. Music, singing, and scenes from the drive characterize the video. We only slowly learn the nature of the drive toward fearful hope of rescue and renewed safety. A mother’s love, hopefully, is our first and truest foundational love. And it can provide steady open arms when romantic love fails and betrays. It’s about this that Scorzari has written in this, his amalgamation song of the anguished parallels between an elderly mother fading and passing on, and a lover’s betrayal. He’s captured such pain. And the beauty of a Rose.
I wrote most of the lyrics to ‘I-70 East’ on the later part of my four-day drive back home to New York from California, after ending my 2019 Now I’m Free Tour early when my then 94 year old mother’s health took a sudden downturn. I had stopped in Hays, Kansas on the second night of the drive, and woke up the next morning feeling tired and sore from wrestling with my steering wheel while trying to keep my car going straight down I-70 East through the fierce crosswinds that were pushing at it from the north and south for most of the day before. I continued driving through Salina, KS and later through Lawrence, KS and at one point I saw a billboard-sign advertisement for ‘Yesterday’s Rose Antiques.’ The lyrics and the music came to me pretty close to done, right there on the highway in Kansas. About 10 or so years ago, I swore off playing electric guitar solos, resolving to focus instead on songwriting, so it was fun to get back to soloing on this track, after recording the acoustic guitar and vocal parts at home in NY in early 2020. This is the first song that I finished writing for this new album, and I knew right from the start that it was going to be the opening track. In the afternoon of Christmas Day, 2020, my mom passed at home, with me and the rest of the family by her bedside. She would have been 96 that coming February of 2021. —Bill Scorzari
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