Bill Kurzenberger plays keyboards in four bands, two based in Columbus and two in Dayton.

Bill Kurzenberger plays keyboards in four bands, two based in Columbus and two in Dayton.

So why is the Clintonville musician's second CD, which came out last month, a solo effort?

It was time, Kurzenberger said, to release something that more accurately represents his artistry.

"I just realized I felt I was really overdue to get this CD out," he said during a recent interview in his north Clintonville home.

The follow-up to 2005's "Suspended Disbelief," in which Kurzenberger was supported by a full backup band, is named, appropriately enough, "Solitary Road."

"While the majority of the album is steeped in Americana rock and blues, the final track is a significant departure to the world of 'space music,'" Kurzenberger wrote in describing the new release. "Clocking in at 18-1/2 minutes, 'Tabula Rasa' incorporates elements of world beat, jazz fusion, trance and electronica."

It was composed by Kurzenberger over a two-year period and recorded solely with a Yamaha Motif keyboard.

The composer described the long song as "a musical representation of the past, present and future of life on planet Earth."

"This CD kind of reflects a troubadour's or a bluesman's journey," Kurzenberger said.

Kurzenberger's journey began 37 years ago in the Cleveland suburb of Fairview Park. His parents, who weren't musically inclined, encouraged their son to take piano lessons when he was in the first, second and third grades. He stopped after that because he didn't much care for classical music, and it was not until Kurzenberger was in the eighth grade and the sounds of Van Halen and Genesis filled the airwaves that he returned to playing.

Kurzenberger bought a keyboard and discovered he could play by ear many of the songs he liked.

"I do have a natural inclination toward it, but it wasn't until I really wanted do it that it kind of came out," Kurzenberger said.

In high school, he learned to play guitar and often jammed with friends, but was never in a band until after enrolling at Ohio Wesleyan University.

There, still playing guitar, the accounting and computer science major found some people with whom he formed groups. It was a heady experience.

"It was just that like-mindedness, that feeling of accomplishment when you create something, especially music, something that wasn't there before," Kurzenberger said.

After graduating in 1994, Kurzenberger moved to Columbus and played with bands at venues like the Dolphin Lounge in Gahanna and other open stages. He worked in sales jobs for a while and then as a computer technician for various companies around the city. Kurzenberger now has his own home-based tech support and website development business.

He and his wife, Julie, who was a singer on his first CD, and stepson Xavier, who will be attended Bishop Watterson High School in the fall, live in a north Clintonville home that was built in 1939.

The musician switched back from guitar to keyboards in 2000, mostly because it was a less-crowded field. Since coming to Columbus, Kurzenberger said that he has played with perhaps as many as 15 groups. Each of these bands was its own learning experience, Kurzenberger said, a different cast of characters with a different set of dynamics. His own band, the Resonators, was formed in the wake of the success enjoyed by "Suspended Disbelief." He also plays in the Columbus-based group the Bug Hounds as well as the Skeleton Crew and Terrapin Moon out of Dayton.

Turning out that first CD of all original songs was an enjoyable experience, Kurzenberger recalled, one that was spurred by his writing of "Venom Wine," about which he felt strongly.

"It was also challenging from the perspective of working to get the best take possible, know that's the take you're going to be listening to for years and years," he said.

"I just needed a way to get that out there for people to hear it," Kurzenberger added. "I felt like I needed to make the plunge."

"Solitary Road," which was recorded over a three-year period at several local studios, got its biggest push to completion when Kurzenberger wrote some new songs earlier this year that he felt were worthy of committing to posterity, or at least the posterity of self-produced CDs.

The new album is available online at CDbaby.com and Amazon.com, as well as locally at Ace in the Hole Music Exchange on Kenny Road, Lost Weekend Records on North High Street, Music Go-Round on Bethel Road and Used Kids Records on North High Street.

Kurzenberger, who was scheduled to be among the performers at this past weekend's ComFest in Goodale Park, will be playing with the Resonators on Friday, July 9, at Woodlands Tavern, formerly the Thirsty Ear, on West Third Avenue.

More information is available at his website, www.billsmusic.net.