Til Willis
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Til Willis

| Established. Jan 01, 2012

Established on Jan, 2012
Band Rock Indie

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Let's say you step into a cozy little bar somewhere in town. You sidle up to the bar, and the music wafting from the nicotine-stained hi-fi catches you ear.
It's a quiet, haunting acoustic tune, the singer's gravelly, wizened voice weaving a tale of loss and longing no doubt hard won from years of rough living.
"For tonight why don't you stay here?" the unknown singer pleads, his voice sounding like a lost uncle of Bruce Springsteen weaned on Freewheelin'-ear Bob Dylan.
It's the kind of striking music that will make you neglect your drink long enough to ask the bartender the question all bartenders secretly dread: "What are we listening to?"
To which he'd reply, "Til Willis," and then go about his business.
Which wouldn't tell you much except your attention was grabbed by a singer whoes mama decided to name him after a preposition.
You wouldn't know that Willis, who's based out of Colorado, was born right here in Jackson. You wouldn't know that the track was Stay Here, from his fifth album, Cindershine. You wouldn't find out that Willis, world-weary voice aside, is only 26 years old.
You certainly wouldn't know that the largely acoustic half of the CD was recorded at the legendary Sun Studio in Memphis, and that Willis includes a melancholy cover of the classic Warren Smith side Red Cadillac and a Black Moustache in tribute.
How could you know that the Sun Studio tracks were recorded during Willis' recovery from a car accident that left him unable to walk for two whole months, which could definitely account for a singer in his mid-20s sounding so road-worn?
Plus, you'd have no idea that the other half -- the full band, rockin' half -- was recorded with the assistance of John Magnie of New Orleans' Subdudes fame, and bears the swampy, gospel-tinged stamp of the seminal group.
You might be able to figure out that Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska, a southern-fried Dylan and a less-corny John Mellencamp are all worthy refrence points for this talented young Americana singer-songwriter, if you kept listening.
You'd also hear that Willis can do a dark, heart-wrenching brooder such as Death in Madrid just as well as he can crank out a praise-the-Lord rocker such as Release or a sardonic honky-tonk tune such as My Side of Heaven.
No, all you'd really know is that you liked the way he sounded and wished you had written his name down on a napkin to Google him later. He's best listened to free of distraction, so you can take in every sparse yet calculated guitar strum.
--Carey Miller (2006) - The Clarion Ledger (Jackson, MS)


When Mississippi-born singer/songwriter Til Willis emerged from a year of recovery from a car accident, he headed straight to Memphis, Tennessee's Sun Studio, where some of the music industry's greatest icons of rebellion --Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash -- cut the records that taught the world to shake, baby, shake. The results can be heard on Cindershine, which finds Willis wringing heartfelt folk tunes from his viscera, then turning around and preaching the folk-gospel on lively, soulful full-band numbers. This might make the album a little uneven, but it also keeps things interesting -- Willis alternately comes across as a less gruff Tom Waits, and earthier Black Crows, a less commercial John Mellencamp and a one-man Subdudes. (Surprise! Two of Cindershine's most Subdude-ly tracks were co-written by John Magnie of that very band.) Dave Roda of Fainting Goats joins Til a Saturday's all acoustic show.
-- Damon Orion (2006) - Goodtimes (Santa Cruz, CA)


Discography

Albums:
--The Thought I Had (1999)
--Shadow Of The Future (2000)
--Lovesick (2003)
--Crimson Wind (2005)
--Cindershine (2006)
--Rumors of A City (2011)
--Live in Berkeley (2011)
--Land Of Sawdust And Spangles (2012)
--Crow, Soldier (2013)
--Cars Etcetera (2014)
--Hackles (2014)
--Tin Star (2014)

EPs:
--Drop In Any Storm/Reaction (2015)
--Double-Eye (2015)

-Singles:
--Cartoon Shadows b/w Dangerously Sweet (2011)
--Dirty Little Spectacle b/w Sensation (acoustic) (2011)
--Freshly 21 (2012)
--Smut, Jazz And Jive (2013)
--Best We Can (2013)
--Snow For Christmas (2013)
--Love Will Tear Us Apart (2014)
--Swordfishtrombones (2014)
--Winter In America (2014)
--I Love You (2015)

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Bio

Til Willis has been a performing Singer/Songwriter for a very long time. In that very long time he has toured both solo and with various bands through the country. Along the way he has shared stages with the likes of Pete Seeger, The Subdudes, Ronny Elliott, Fainting Goats etc.. In 2012 he formed Til Willis & Erratic Cowboy. There lyric driven rock style has been called alternative, and indie, and roots rock, and even tin-roof-rain-water-future-rustic-bop.

Band Members