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Raised in the piedmont region of western North Carolina, Billy grew up surrounded by the sounds coming down off the Blue Ridge Mountains that cut a winding trail between Charlotte and Nashville. That music dominated the soundtrack of his childhood and etched a permanent impression on his creative sensibilities. Although his love of that music remained constant, the whining pedal steel guitars and plucking banjos would begin to play second fiddle to the screaming guitars and funky synthesizers of hard rock as he entered his teenage years.