Bill Rotella

 

 

          Singer/Songwriter Bill Rotella performs solo, with his acoustic rock band DAKOTA and with his new acoustic duo AMBER & SMOKE. For many years his bands Baywood, Urban Shocker, 11:11 and Dakota were staples on the L.A club scene. Bill continues to play over a 100 shows a year.

         In 2009, Bill released his first solo album, “Gates of Change.” His second solo album, “All Roads Lead Home” was released in 2012 and in 2017 Bill released "Amber and Smoke”, his 3rd solo album.       

         Bill first jumped into the L.A music scene in the early ‘80’s with his band Baywood, a six-piece southern-pop band that was very popular on the college circuit and in the L.A clubs. Baywood featured Bill’s acoustic and electric guitars and background vocals, the lead guitar and background vocals of Stewart Marsh, the dynamic pedal steel guitar and background vocals of James “Sparks” Sinclair (Elton John), rich three-part vocal harmonies and powerful lead vocals from front man Ronny Lee. Baywood’s rhythm section consisted of Bill Hurlbut and Martin Fera (Joe Walsh, Glenn Fry) They performed throughout Los Angeles and were the opening band for Poco, Pablo Cruise, Lacy J. Dalton, Dave Mason and The Ventures. Their music appeared in the movies “Born to Race” and “Three Days Blind.” Baywood released 3 albums, the self titled “Baywood” and “LIVE at The Palomino”.

      In the late 80’s Baywood evolved into the band "Urban Shocker" and then "11:11". They were produced by Pat Glasser (Night Ranger) and Bill Pfordgerusher (Ambrosia) and replaced the pedal steel guitar with keyboardist Donnie Gougeon (The Association), their sound thus becoming more rock-pop. They recorded a 5 song EP and their songs can be heard in the films “Action U.S.A” and “Three Days Blind”.

        In the early 90’s, Budweiser, Fender, GHS Strings and Zildjian cymbals became the sponsors of Bill’s 4-piece acoustic band, Dakota. Dakota featured 4 part vocal harmonies with lead guitarist Kirk Evans, bassist Rino Marino and drummer Dave Casanova. They performed in Northern Europe and the Western United States. Their CDs include “Dakota” (1994) “once around the sun” (1998) and “The Collection” (2008).  Bill’s music performed with Dakota has been featured in the movies “Instant Trauma” and “Three Days Blind.”

         Bill is from a family of successful musicians. His father, Johnny Rotella, was a very successful L.A studio musician and songwriter.  He played with Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, recorded with many artists, such as Steely Dan, Frank Zappa, Neil Diamond, the Turtles, to name a few, and his songs were recorded by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Doris Day to name a few. Bill’s uncle is the famous Big Band arranger, Jerry Gray. Jerry was Artie Shaw and Glenn Miller’s arranger. He wrote “Chattanooga Choo-Choo”, “Pennsylvania 6-5000,” and “String of Pearls.”

         Bill collaborates with his family on both “Gates of Change” and “All Roads Lead Home”.  His daughter Brianna sings and plays flute on “Once Upon a Love” and sings and plays autoharp on “Monterosso.” His father plays flute on “Live” and his sister Geri adds her flute to “Once Upon a Love.”

        Currently Bill is performing in the L.A area as a solo artist and with Amber Olive from Amber & Smoke. He also continues to perform with his band DAKOTA .

       Bill has 4 music videos on YouTube and his music can be discovered at SoundCloud.com/bill-rotella,  billrotella.bandcamp.com,  CD Baby.com, iTunes and at his website billrotellamusic.com.

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For more info on Dakota, click the link below: