For 30+ years, Bill Starks played as a sideman in numerous D.C. area bands while balancing his passion for music with raising a family and the demands of a busy TV news career. Bill has shared his piano chops and vocals with DC’s favorite bar band SmallTalk in the 70’s, played and sung sweet soul music with Junior Cline & The Recliners in the 80’s, and played the Blues and Boogie-Woogie with the Cathy Ponton King Band for over two decades. More recently, he’s been a member of DC’s premiere Americana Country, Honky Tonk and Rockabilly band, Ruthie and the Wranglers. He also performs solo, at regular monthly Happy Hour shows at Hank Dietle’s Tavern, occasionally appears as a member of “Me And The Boys”, an NRBQ tribute band, and remains a favorite performer on many sold-out BandHouse Gigs and Newmyer Flyer concerts.
With a lovable, lived in voice, one-of-a-kind piano chops, and a distinctive Blues-infused style, Bill has recorded two albums of his own music. His CD “I See Trouble” is a treasure of eclectic Americana tunes showing his versatile songwriting style. A second CD release, “Do You Hear Me Now” is a collection of earlier original tunes in a more up-tempo, modern rock vein. Bill has also garnered awards and acclaim as a songwriter, His anthem “300 Miles From Memphis to New Orleans,” won Song of the Year at the WAMMIES. ( And, “300 Miles” has a coordinating video filmed and produced by Jim Robeson.) “Repo Man” a funny lament about reaching your own personal debt ceiling, was recorded for the Wranglers’ “Americana Express” album, and was featured on NPR during the financial crisis, and “I See Trouble”, the title track of Bill’s first album, has become a show-stopping favorite at live shows.
“Bill Starks is continuously surprising us with his unique arrangements and spectacular songwriting skills” — Ruthie Logsdon
Apparently the Washington Area Music Association membership agrees! Bill was named Songwriter of the Year and took home the WAMMIE at the 30th Annual Music Awards in April 2016.