The Rucksack Willies
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The Rucksack Willies

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Rock Bluegrass




"The Rucksack Willies, Drop Out Entertainment"

The band has smooth dynamic, Angie front woman-ing the stage with her casual conversation. The band members joked around on stage with each other and got the crowd laughing along. The topic of the night seemed to be Lucas’ recent appendix extraction, as it called for a bit of a mellow show but one to still be enjoyed. The down to earth bluegrass group played classics like Dolly Parton’s Jolene and The Band’s The Shape I’m In, as well as their originals like Moonshine (which has an actual recipe for moonshine in the lyrics) and Higher...... - Drop Out Entertainment

"The Rucksacks work with Mojito Mastering"

Last month we went into Verge Music Lab with Toronto folk band The Rucksack Willies to try out an experimental recording session that Reuben had been wanting to try. Similar to the way Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings do their records, the idea would be to record in a retro, minimalist style – limiting ourselves to 8 mics or less – to capture a raw, live-off-the-floor vibe.
When all was said and done we managed the entire session with only 4 mics. The Rucksacks performed two songs; a new track titled “Honey Harbour” written by front-woman Angie Hilts, and the traditional folk-song “Wild Mountain Thyme”.
If you’re in Toronto, you can catch The Rucksack Willies at their CD Release show tonight (June 7th) at the Dakota Tavern. - Mojito Mastering

"Friends of Bassaris"

For any of those Bassaris followers who may be into quality music I have a suggestion for you. If you find yourself with some spare time on Monday evenings you should hit up The Cameron House. Every week from 6-8 friends of Bassaris, The Rucksack Willies take the stage. This rag-tag group of ruffians play with wisdom well beyond their years. Front-woman Angie Hilts leads with style, grace and the soul of a battered (but beautiful) beat poet. I go as often as I possibly can and would encourage all to do the same, hope to see you there! - Word Press

"Mariposa Folk Festival Rounds Out Line Up"

.. members of The Rucksack Willies started to set up their gear, from a first glance I just knew that we were in for a real treat from them, and they didn’t disappoint. As I sat their listening to this mix of country/rock/bluegrass/folk/Gin Joint.... I was trying to come up with a description for what style they were playing and all I could conjure up was Dirty Bluegrass (Does it fit? If you were there tell me), this description just seemed to fit them, but they strike me as a group of musicians that don’t really like to be pigoned holed into a category. As they played they wiped the rain from the Saturday skies and sent this relatively calm audience to hoot and howl...I knew we had a winner, please welcome The Rucksack Willies to the 2011 Mariposa Line-Up.
- Self Serve Gas Station

"A Recap: buying shots for bands presents Jane’s Party, Gramercy Riffs and The Rucksack Willies at The Piston"

The Rucksack Willies opened up the night. The band is made up of Angela Hilts (vocals, banjo), Megan Thomas (vocals, washboard), Galen Pelley (drums), Lucas Gadke (upright bass, vocals), Matt Bailey (guitar, harmonica) and Michael Eckert (dobro, pedal steel). This 6-piece crowded the small stage and brought their updated bluegrass/folk sound, accompanied by soaring female vocals. They’re still young, but their old-time sound makes them sound mature beyond their years. With an added freshness and the undeniable charm of frontwoman Hilts, this band brought on a great start to the evening. - Buying Shots For Bands


Full Length Album
The Rucksack Willies-Letter to Anne

1. Beautiful Stranger
2. Higher
3. Wandering Man
4. There is Nothing
5. Summers Over
6. Letter to Anne
7. Waiting for a Sign
8. Midnight Ghost
9. Hold Me
10. Take Me Down

Full Length Album
The Rucksack Willies-Moving On "Release date March 2014"

1. Morning Train
2. Over the Hill
3. Moving On
4. Honey Harbour
5. "Oh! My Sweet Lady"
6. Moonshine
7. Follow You Down
8. The Grave
9. Time Rolls By
10. Empty House



Last Fm-



A combination of rockabilly string-band resonances and jazz stylings, the music of The Rucksack Willies is as complex as it is easy to enjoy. The mature sounds emanating from this youthful band both surprise and delight.

The Rucksack Willies are a true Canadian amalgamation, combining the many talents of Angela Hilts on lead vocals, guitar, and banjo, Megan Thomas on vocals and washboard, Michael Eckert on pedal steel and dobro, Lucas Gadke on bass and vocals, Galen Pelley on percussion and vocals, and Adrian Gross on guitar and mandolin. As evidenced, the instruments used by this band are as diverse and unique as their musical creations.

The Rucksack Willies released their debut album, Letter to Anne, in 2011, and have since been appearing throughout the GTA in festivals such as the Mariposa Festival and NXNE, as well as performing weekly at the Cameron House right here in Toronto. (Talia C.)
"Moving On" will be the second album released by The Rucksack Willies. The official release takes place December 11th at Hugh's Room. Building on their initial rootsy sound explored in "Letter to Anne", The Willies take "Moving on" into an evocative roller coaster of love and loss. With help from Producer Josh Van Tassel and recording engineer Reuben Ghose, the album has captured the depth of human emotion through the shaping of spacial and sound environments. This album will surely take you on an emotional journey.