By Cecily Markland
The country-music great and Grammy-award winner, Billy Dean, is spending his winter season in Arizona, performing at the Dutton Theater Mesa and in other venues in Arizona and surrounding states, delighting audiences with his rich vocals, his skills on the guitar and his easy, captivating storytelling style.
Having sold more than 5 million albums worldwide, with 11 Top Ten singles, five of them in the number ones slot, Billy has long been recognized both for his singing and songwriting abilities. He has been nominated for every major music award, winning both “Song of the Year” and “Top new Male Vocalist of the Year” in 1992. Later, he received the “Album, and Producer of the Year” award.
In more recent years, Billy’s musical focus has been on mastering the art of the solo performing troubadour, showcasing his skills as an accomplished guitarist, songwriter and vocalist.
“I quit chasing celebrity status a long time ago. Instead, for me, it’s about me and my guitar, about singing and storytelling. It’s my favorite way of performing,” Billy says.
He adds, “I love being out west here. In this area of the country, people appreciate that art so much more. One people experience it, they come back and enjoy it again.”
He takes the stage in the Dutton’s Mesa theatre on weeknights through March. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights though April 4, The Duttons perform in their Mesa venue.
The Duttons are international touring and recording artists. The three-generations of musicians play everything from bluegrass to classical in their shows, featuring a variety of instruments: violin, guitar, bass, viola, banjo, mandolin, keyboard, harmonica and drums among others. The Duttons have won recognition in national fiddling contests, as studio musicians and in classical violin competitions.
Based in Branson, Mo., The Duttons have come to Arizona each winter for the past seven years. This year, the family invited Billy Dean, who is also based in Branson, to join them.
Among Billy’s most popular songs are “Somewhere in my Broken Heart,” “Billy the Kid,” “Let Them Be Little.”
Another song that has become his favorite and that he uses to close each of his concerts is “I am a Child of God.”
“It’s a perfect song. It has a perfect melody, a perfect message and lyrics,” Billy says, “and it fits with the themes that have run through my career
Billy was introduced to the song by LDS pianist, Marvin Goldsmith, who lives in Billy’s hometown.
“I fell in love with it right away,” Billy says. Since then, he has sung it often, and has recorded it with Thurl Bailey and Marvin Goldstein on the album titled “Friends and Brothers.”
Learn more about Billy Dean at www.billydean.com
For more information about upcoming Arizona concerts or to buy tickets for Billy Dean or The Duttons, visit www.theduttons.com or call 1-888-388-8661.