By Lynn R. Mitchell
[Today is my Texas brother-in-law’s birthday so I am republishing a tribute I wrote about his music in 2009. Singer, songwriter, and able to play just about anything with strings, this award-winning Houston folk singer is talented beyond belief … our own musical troubadour who is married to my sister. Happy birthday with love from Virginia, A!]
If you like the laid-back easy feel of acoustic folk-style music, then pour a glass of wine, kick back, and mellow out to entertainer Bill Aspinwall, an all-around great musician and singer who represents some of the best that Austin and Houston have to offer in the folk music genre.
Named 2005 Songwriter of the Year by the Houston Association of Acoustic Musicians (HAAM) and the Houston Songwriters Association (HSA), Bill also was co-creator of the 2005 Song of the Year, “Fractured Lives,” included on his new solo CD, Free Range Trout: Aspinwall & Friends, featuring some of Houston’s finest musicians.
With calming tunes reminiscent of James Taylor but skillfully interwoven with the story-telling style of Jimmy Buffet, Bill Aspinwall’s music, much of it self-written, makes for relaxed listening or singing along.
As one of the Big Lizard Boys, Bill has been performing for years with his merry band of musicians that includes fellow Lizard Boys Mike Crippen and Mike Darnell. Their CD, Pick Yourself Up, has my all-time favorite Aspinwall tune, “Arapahoe Rodeo,” a song the Boulder native penned about his home state of Colorado with wistful memories of growing up in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains along with fun, whimsical lyrics such as, “… I often wondered how snakes wave goodbye” …