Billie Marie Feather is a singer/songwriter/guitarist/banjoist/double bassist who originally hails from Johnstown, PA. Raised in the beautiful Pennsylvania mountains and surrounded by a family of avid music lovers, Billie’s love of performing music in all forms was fostered.
Saying goodbye to their ancestral home in the Allegany mountains, Billie’s family relocated during her elementary school years to North Carolina, where she found herself surrounded by the rich musical landscape that flourishes in the Tarheel State – from the old traditional mountain music of the Appalachians to the Piedmont’s rich blues and jazz traditions. In her sixth grade year, Billie began saving for her first guitar by doing odd jobs and begging her parents for music lessons. Her parents finally gave into their daughter’s pestering for lessons and it happily grew into a lifelong passion of music performance and songwriting.
For her senior year in high school, Billie was accepted into the prestigious music conservatory at The University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Classical Guitar Performance and remained there for her college studies. During her years at UNCSA, Billie was a guest classical guitarist in The Carolina Wind Symphony and has been able to perform all over North Carolina as both a solo artist and in classical guitar ensembles. After graduating in 2006, Billie expanded her musical studies by learning the double bass, electric bass, banjo, and mandolin.
After graduation, Billie founded a private teaching studio in Winston-Salem, NC and began performing upright bass in several local bands – most notably the bo-stevens (a North Carolina honky-tonk band) and The Darnell Woodies (an old-time Appalachian punk string band). During her tenure in these bands, Billie was able to tour the United States and Europe. While in Winston-Salem, she began studying stringed instrument repair at Separk Music. Once getting a few years of repair experience under her belt, Billie was asked to take a position in Chapel Hill, NC as instrument repair technician at Wes Lamble Guitars. Currently, Billie operates her own stringed instrument repair shop in Durham, NC.
Upon relocating to Chapel Hill, Billie joined local honky-tonk country legend John Howie Jr. (of Two Dollar Pistols fame) in his newly formed band John Howie Jr. and the Rosewood Bluff on both electric and upright bass. Though this band, she was able to share the stage with the likes of with country legend George Jones, The Steep Canyon Rangers, Dexter Romweber, and The Backsliders. Billie can also be found fronting The P-90’s, a punk rock act whose members consist of her former students.
Eventually, Billie began to hear the call of academia once more and enrolled in North Carolina Central University for a second undergraduate degree with a focus in jazz guitar and arranging. Graduating with honors, she was invigorated to share her love of jazz with her community and students. Currently, Billie attends the University of North Carolina School of the Arts where she is a master’s candidate in guitar performance.
Billie’s performances have been hailed as “spectacular, athletic, and… narrative and epic rather than simply a recreation of recorded work” and a “live music find and stage presence of the first order and deserves the stellar career that is clearly in front of her” by the Camel City Dispatch blog.
In addition to The P-90’s, Billie performs primarily as the lead guitarist with Hank, Pattie and The Current (a string band combining classical, soul, and bluegrass influences), an electric bassist with Charles Latham and The Borrowed Band (a honky-tonk folk fusion group), a guitarist with Keenan McKenzie and the Riffers (a 1940’s inspired jazz swing band), and a double-bassist in The Holland Brothers (a Piedmont Blues trio). Billie continues to teach and share her love of music with her students through her private studio and through guest lectures around the southeast and remains an accomplished songwriter playing her own unique mix of country, folk, and bossa nova in her own band, Billie Feather and The Hallway Waltz.