Mountain Top native releases latest CD
Mountain Peaks, Mountaintop, PA
Singer-songwriter Bill Hartmann describes his latest CD, Just Like Water, is a collection of songs about life,
love and how time can change both for worse or better. This nine track CD was mastered by Grammy award
winning engineer/mixer Zach Ziskin and produced by multi-instrumentalist/producer Fernando Perdomo who
says “Hartmann is a great lyricist, all of his songs have awesome stories, lots of verses with good messages."
Matthew Sydney of IndieFlorida Blog Talk Radio says “Bill’s music features cadences reminiscent of classic
James Taylor with beautiful harmonies lyrical finesse and outstanding 12-string guitar playing.”
Stay or Go and Here Again are songs about difficult choices that must be made; while the lively America is Sleeping recaps events in our ever-changing world.
Hartmann has an interesting approach to writing songs. He says he uses the “movie in my head” method. He sees his song play out as a movie (in his head) before he writes the words. The title track, Just Like Water, is a movie he would have preferred not to see. It tells the story about the end of his younger brother’s marriage. Before its release, Hartmann previewed the song with each party. He won’t say who but, one requested him to write a sequel for their new life.
Bill is a native of Mountain Top, now residing in Lake Worth, Florida with his wife Gloria. Hartmann graduated from Crestwood High School in 1974.
Musician Shines Spotlight on South Florida Talent
Palm Beach Post, The To Do List -Bill Meredith
Pennsylvania-born singer/guitarist Bill Hartmann (billhartmannmusic.com) was a rising acoustic songwriter when he and his wife Gloria moved to South Florida in 1991 — but he made area listeners wait nearly two decades to find out.
“I was still writing songs, but otherwise working three jobs in order to build a house,” Hartmann says. “I hadn’t planned to get back into performing. But around 2009, I happened upon one of Ric Pattison’s open mikes. Before I knew it, I was on stage again.”
His recordings and live performances display an expressive vocal and storytelling style influenced by Harry Chapin, Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens and Jim Croce.
Hartmann’s use of a Seagull 12-string guitar, with its unique chiming tones, adds to the originality.Hartmann also hosts a weekly Musicians Showcase in Boynton Beach and a monthly one in Lake Park, where he presents his material and showcases invited guests. He and a few other singer/songwriters have adopted the format from former Broward Center for the Performing Arts showcase host Chrystal Hartigan.
See Bill Hartmann’s Musicians Showcase from 6:30-9:30 p.m. on Monday and Aug. 31 at the Living Room, 1709 Congress Ave., Boynton Beach (561-742-4399), and from 7-10 p.m. on Tuesday at Brewhouse Gallery, 720 Park Ave., Lake Park (561-469-8930). He also appears on Michael Stock’s “Folk and Acoustic Music” show on WLRN Public Radio from 2-5 p.m. this Sunday.
Area singer/songwriter Bill Hartmann features expressive vocals and a 12-string guitar. He also spotlights other South Florida talent during his Musicians Showcases.
Remembering his roots
The Times Leader, The Guide, Wilkes-Barre, PA - Sara Pokorny
South Floridian Bill Hartmann’s debut album ‘Now and Then’ is a musical retelling of his experiences growing up in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
At 56, Bill Hartmann still treasures a song he wrote in elementary school, so much so that it’s earned a spot on his first album, “Now and Then.”
“I Remember” is one of nine originals on the album, whose songs were all written while the Mountain Top native was in Northeastern Pennsylvania or had the area in mind.
Hartmann has lived in Florida since 1991, but he never forgot his roots, which go way back. At 9, he began lessons on a Fender electric guitar. In 1973 he bought his first 12-string guitar, now his instrument of choice.
Hartmann, who looks to evoke emotions with his music, is inspired by Harry Chapin, a folk-rock singer-songwriter known for his storytelling song style.
“It seems that I’ll put together a whole song trying to reach that person that may be experiencing the same thing, almost as a way to say, ‘Listen, don’t worry about it. It may get better, it may not, but either way you’ll deal with it and move on.’ ”
Two songs on Hartmann’s new album are attributed to friends Joe Agerkis and Bill Higgs, both of whom still live in
Mountain Top. Agerkis was a fellow student at St. Jude School in the 1960s, and Higgs graduated from Crestwood High School with Hartmann in 1974. He keeps in touch with both.
He won’t say which song belongs to whom but will only discuss the subject matter.
“So Easy” is “about someone who always wanted to take the easy way out,” Hartmann said. “It was always ‘I know there’s a right way to do this, but I’m going to do it in the easiest way possible.’ ”
“Truth Hurts” hits upon social anxieties that befall teenagers.
“It was about a friend I went to school with who wanted to be with the ‘cliquey’ people,” Hartmann said. “They’d let him in when they needed something, but when they didn’t they’d push him back out. It was me trying to say to this person, ‘Hey I’m willing to help you out here if you’d just listen, but it’s hard when you don’t like me or really anyone else when you’re with this certain group of people.’”
Hartmann said he never imagined he’d make a CD.
“It just so happened that I talked to a guy at an open mic who owned a small studio. I’m so glad I had the chance.”
“Now and Then” can be purchased online at www.billhartmannmusic.com.