Indie recording artist Bill Hartmann performs his original songs for a wide range of fans. Drawing them in with his masterful storytelling, he delivers lyrics that touch one’s soul. Many compare his musical style to James Taylor and the late great storyteller, Harry Chapin.
Hartmann was born and raised in Mountaintop, Pennsylvania. Coming home from a trip at the age of nine, he learned his parents had signed him and his brothers up for music lessons and presented him with his first Fender electric guitar. He spent the following years developing his craft in a garage band with several friends. Although he wrote a few songs for the band, his lifelong love of "story telling" was born when he set the Fender aside and bought his first 12-string acoustic guitar.
With a burning desire to share his music, he spent several years forming several bands with other musicians. He eventually found his voice performing one-on-one with his audience as both a solo and a duo performing artist. He spent many years writing and performing regularly for audiences at clubs and festivals.
In 1991, Hartmann relocated to Boca Raton, Florida. His original plan to gradually break into the thriving South Florida music scene had to be put on hold for sixteen years while he switched his focus to work, maintaining a home and helping his wife adjust to living with adult onset seizure disorder.
One afternoon, while enjoying performances at an open mic, he decided it was time to return to the music scene and do what he loves—sing his songs and tell his stories. He returned to open mics, networked with the musicians, built a following, and once again picked up regular gigs.
In 2009, Hartmann released his debut CD, Now and Then. It is a collection of songs written over thirty-odd years, highlighting his journey in words and music, leading up to the title song written for the CD, expressing both his doubts and hopes for the future.
Hartmann has an interesting approach to songwriting. He explains that he uses the "movie in my head" method. He lets the music create a story that plays out like a movie (in his head) and writes what he sees. His follow up CD, Just Like Water, produced by multi-instrumentalist/singer-songwriter/producer Fernando Perdomo and mastered by Grammy-winning engineer/mixer Zach Ziskin, is a perfect example of the soundtracks running through his mind. Though he admits that this is one movie he would have preferred not to have seen since it is based on the end of his younger brother’s marriage.
While forming music alliances with fellow songwriters and industry talents locally and nationally, Hartmann has appeared in episodes of Balcony TVMiami and opened for Farewell Angelina and the Joe Cotton Band. When time allows, he volunteers his musical talent for community events and fundraisers. In his downtime, you will find him (and his fedora) in the audience at a variety of locations enjoying the South Florida music scene.