Markus Rill writes about The Things That Count. He sets intelligent, moving lyrics about dealing with the winding ways of life & love to atmospheric folk music, stark country, driving rock'n'roll, or a fascinating amalgam thereof. His unique sandpaper-and-gravel voice adds another layer of depth and character.
The German-born singer-songwriter has won awards and accolades for his songwriting, he has toured all over Europe and played some of the biggest festivals & finest clubs in the USA (SXSW, Folk Alliance, the Bluebird Café in Nashville, TN., the Cactus Café in Austin, Tx.), he has recorded with the most in-demand players on the Americana scene - Duane Jarvis, Steve Conn, Fats Kaplin, Dave Jacques, Bryan Owings to name but a few -, and he has shared stages with the incomparable Townes van Zandt, Tom Russell, Chris Knight, Steve Wynn, Hal Ketchum, and countless others. An impressive resume.
And yet The Things That Count, Rill's sixth studio album, is his finest work to date - even though its predecessor The Price Of Sin ended up on numerous year-end best lists. His songwriting packs punch and insight, Richard McLaurin's production opens up new soundscapes, and Rill's vocal delivery goes right under your skin. There's lines that will resonate, melodies you'll be singing along with, and stories that'll keep you thinking. Sarah Stein, a story song about a famous ballet dancer who escaped yet couldn't forget Nazi Germany, is simply the most moving song you'll hear in a mighty long time.
What the critics are saying:
"Songs shimmering beautifully with ambiguity ... brilliant lyrics"
"First-rate songs ... he could give those guys in Texas a few lessons"
"Sharply drawn flesh & blood-characters ï¿½ a songwriter with boot-dirt authenticity"
(Miles Of Music/USA)
"If voices were highways, Markus Rill's would be gravel ... like Steve Earle, Tom Waits and Lucinda Williams, he excels at songwriting"
- 1st prize winner International Narrative Song Competition 2007 for "The Price You Pay For Sin"
- finalist International Sonwriting Competition 2006, 2007 & 2008
- finalist American Songwriter magazine competition 2006
- finalist South Florida Folk festival 2006
- honorable mention Unisong Contest 2006 & 2007