Bil Kurz has been singing since age seven, when neighborhood teenagers asked him to join their informal vocal group out front of his home in the Bronx. By his middle-school years, he was performing on a regular basis. Kurz kept going strong as a rock, funk or r&b band vocalist-guitarist through his remaining teen years and his twenties. One of his rock bands, Loki Grim, once an opening act for the Jefferson Airplane, is still fondly remembered in the metropolitan New York area. Studio work, including jingles, broadened his musical palette with introductions to jazz, Brazilian, Celtic and country music. In addition to singing and playing guitar, Kurz has long been a skilled performer on bass, mandolin, several keyboards and on harmonica.
Mike Merola first met Kurz when they were 15; they reunited two decades later when Merola happened to hear Kurz playing in a club and asked his old friend to become part of his new City Boys Allstars band. Kurz, in turn, brought equally talented singers Frankie Paris (RIP) and Angel Rissoff onboard. The three singers proved to be very important to the success of the Allstars for the duration of the band’s existence in the 1990s. Now Kurz is back in the thick of TCBA action again, teamed with returnee Rissoff and newer member Horace Scott II.
Interestingly, Kurz was once part of the Nashville music scene. Though in demand for all sorts of work in New York, he decided to sharpen his songwriting skills and relocated to the Music City in 1993. Highlights of his 10-year stay there included fronting his own band called the Brass Ring, collaborating with first-tier guitarists Redd Volkaert and Johnny Hiland, and doing a recording project with ex-Poco drummer George Grantham and Elvis Presley guitarist Scotty Moore’s backing band (they were called Hoopla). But, like the other Allstars, he’s always been a New Yorker through and through.