Wil Van Winkle
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Wil Van Winkle

Lebanon, TN | Established. Jan 01, 2005 | SELF

Lebanon, TN | SELF
Established on Jan, 2005
Solo Country Rock

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This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

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"Vents Interviews - Shea-Van Winkle"

How did you get started with all this?? Shea-Van Winkle evolved in a step by step process really. Wil Van Winkle had just started performing after a 2 year hiatus, as a solo artist. Brit Shea, his girlfriend and manager at the time, booked a series of coffee house gigs where she began to join him on stage one song at a time. After sometime as an acoustic duo, we began working with multiple hired drummers and bassists before recruiting Chad Pleasant on drums. After a year and a half on the road & a short run in Germany Chad left the band to pursue other projects & SVW returned to playing as a duo relocating to the San Francisco Bay Area to work on new material.

What's the message to transmit with your music?? That's a difficult question because each song has its own identity and is written based on our moods and experiences at the time we're working on the material. I guess the underlying theme would be stick to what you believe in.

What's your method at the time of writting a song?? Step 1 an idea comes, Step 2 grab instrument and attempt to get in the same room for a few hours, Step 3 argue....A LOT, Step 4 argue some more, throw original ideas out, begin again until finally we have something to present to band members-assuming there are any-then begin arguing with them. Eventually the arguing pays off & we get material like "Crucify Me" which was featured in the indie film "Rotkapchen: The Blood of Red Riding Hood"

Which is your music influences?? Our influence vary as greatly as our style. Wil has a lot of blues and classic rock influence as well as some modern/alternative so start with Little Walter, Muddy Waters, Lightin Hopkins, BB King, and move up through the Stones, Zeppelin, Hendrix, and into Audioslave, Alice in Chains, STP etc. Brit's influences range widely from legendary ladies in rock, Heart, to pop power houses like Pink, and local Texas band PJ Flowers. Having been a musical theater major she's also very interested in broadway voices such as Idena Menzel, and Kristen Chenoweth.

What plans do you have for the future?? Winning the lottery & buying this really bitchin tour bus! Unless your readers would like to donate some money to the "get us an RV fund". We have paypal! Aside from those well thought out plans, we plan on being in the Bay Area for a while & releasing a single a month on iTunes, then getting back out on the road again as soon as possible while working on rebuilding the full band.

Which has been the funniest prank you have been or took part while on tour or after a show?? We don't really do pranks. Either somebody is too drunk or too tired after a gig. Although this one time....at Waffle House.....after a Hurricane Ike benefit we were working with a bassist who was messing with the staff, which is usually as far as our pranking tends to go, but he went a bit overboard & was hitting on an 8 month pregnant waitress & had Chad so horrified that he was ready to quit the band. Wil is pretty sarcastic & makes jokes a lot both on stage and off, usually at the expense of others, Brit spends most of her time apologizing for him.

If you were stranded in the middle of nowhere after a show or while on tour. The help is 65 miles away from where you and your band (If any) are, ¿Who would you send to look for help? And if while the rest wait, there's no food and the only way to feed yourself is by eating each other, ¿Who would you eat first? But we have cell phones, its only 65 miles. AAA would only take a few hours to get there, do we really have to eat somebody? Brit is a vegetarian so I guess she'd be the first to go.

Which country you would love to play? Australia or New Zealand, we get lots of sales and some pretty decent radio attention there from what we've read. Then after the gig we can get stranded in the outback & give a better answer for the last question.

With which bands you would love to share stage?? We're like chameleons so we could arrange our setlist to fit in with a few different groups. Kid Rock because would could play all of our material, Black Crows would be cool for our more southern rock/blues based stuff, Alice in Chains, we once shared the front page of MP3 Germany with Green Day & oddly we now live in the same city as them...just waiting for the call...Tre's aunt saw us live & loved us, so, hey guys, CALL!

Are you OK, with the direction the band is going actually? Of course we'd like to be moving a bit quicker, but nothing worthwhile is quick. The next couple of songs we're planning on putting on iTunes are closer to southern rock but in a couple of months we'll be putting up some hard rock, pop punk, and alternative stuff as well. Since we change directions constantly we pretty much have to just go with the flow.

Check out more at http://www.reverbnation.com/sheavanwinkle - Seguidores


"Off Beat (2002)"

Houston's Raindance is the latest band to try this time-honored tack, with one significant difference: Instead of London, the band has chosen to jump-start its career in Uzbekistan, a central Asian republic near Afghanistan. There, in the capital city of Tashkent, the band gigs at embassies, private parties, international hotels and for organizations like the Association of Tennis Players. The self-described "Texas Gulf Coast Rock and Rollers" are also hoping to become "the first rock and roll band to play Afghanistan." Raindance is led by Wil Van Winkle, formerly of local bands Bad Influence and The Legend Thereof, and his group is one of only four Uzbekistan-based entrants on MP3.com. - Houston Press


"Street Beat (April 2007)"

Wil Van Winkle is a name that if you haven't heard yet, you probably "wil" soon. You can catch his acoustic set at Java Jazz in Spring (419 Gentry @ Main St.) on Sat. Apr. 14th starting at 8pm, or at Sweet Mesquite (1570 S. Dairy Ashford) Fri. Apr. 27th from 6-9:30pm. His CD, A Change in the Weather is available at www.wilvanwinkle.com. For booking, contact BS Promotions at www.myspace.com/bs_promo_ent. - Music News


"Tour of Duty"

Houston founded rock band Raindance plans on playing a free concert for troops based in central Asia. These troops were essential in the success of the war on Terrorism in Afghanistan & the band sees this as a way of saying thank you, making the troops feel appreciated, & less isolated due to the fact that many of the bases they are using have been declared off limits due to security concerns.

Raindance plans on playing the first of what they hope to be a series of shows sometime at the end of April. The performances will be entirely sponsored by the band & tentatively will take place inside the compound.

“The idea came about due to our current location, we are only about 4 hours from one of the airstrips used, and about 6 hours from another. It would make sense for us try to play for the soldiers after what they put on the line for us,” says singer/guitarist Wil Van Winkle.

Raindance is also looking into the possibility of putting together a concert/charity auction benefiting the Save the Children Foundation and playing a concert to attempt to bring awareness to the Aral Sea desertification while on their current trek through the region. In the meantime the band plans for a spring release of their latest effort Schmeckt Gut, pronounced shmekt goot the title is German for tastes good. Currently 5 sneak previews are available for listening on mp3.com/raindance and the entire CD should be available in April or May. For more information contact -----------@hotmail.com or drop by www.mp3.com/raindance.
- Indie-Music.com 2003


"Street Beat (May 2007)"

International Recording Artist Wil Van Winkle is on the rise here in Houston. He’s doing 2 Acoustic Shows, Saturday May 12th at the Aroma Coffee House 12020 FM 1960 W Ste 800, Thursday, May 31 at Notsuoh, (That’s Houston Spelled Backwards, folks!) @ 314 Main St (CD Release Party!) Read up on him at wilvanwinkle.com, or check out his first CD, A Change in the Weather - Music News


"Street Beat (August 2007)"

Wil Van Winkle put on an impressive show at Ken's Club this past month. Wil performed songs from his CDs, A Change in the Weather and New Beginnings to a more than ecstatic crowd there. His one-man acoustic show is one of the best we've seen in a long time. If you get a chance, check him out.


(Appears with photo, check out my photos to see this as it appeared in the August Issue of Music News.) - Music News


"The Cornerstone by Rocky Stone (May 2007)"

Live recordings are always treacherous, dangerous and often disastrous affairs. Performers brave or foolheartedly enough to attempt them are frequently faced with recordings that showcase their warts and weaknesses in equal or greater measure to their strengths. The new disc New Beginnings: Live from Acoustic Chaos from Wil Van Winkle undertakes this challenge with a set of live recordings from a show at Fitzgerald’s nightclub, and the results are mixed. The sonic mélange of acoustic guitars, bass and percussion does not vary much on the ten tracks presented (continued on page 34) here.
But even within the sonic sameness, some interesting textures and atmospheres emerge from time to time. Like the dusky shimmering texture “Pygmy” which benefits from the relative sparseness of the arrangement.
The two studio tracks which close the disc fare much better. “Lighter Side” with its bedroom sketchpad quality and the sunny and warm sounding “Back in the Day” are enjoyable listening indeed, as are the more promising songs in the live set, such as “It Must Be Love” and “Only Friend” Wil Van Winkle has served up some lively music infused with interesting polyrhythms and his strong and unique voice.
- Music News


"Letter from Uzbekistan (2001)"

Spoiled meat, fermented mare's milk and a president who says he'd rip off his kid's head -- such is Wil Wuerdig's life as a musician in Central Asia
By John Nova Lomax

By now, the musicians' path out of Houston to what many see as the greener pastures of Austin, Nashville, New York and Los Angeles is well worn. To say that Houston-bred Wil Wuerdig -- the singer-guitarist of the alternative Southern rock band Raindance -- is not on that path is an epic understatement. You see, Wuerdig is basing his career in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Racket and Wuerdig recently fired a few e-mails back and forth about life as a working musician in one of the world's sleepiest and most unfashionable capitals.
And life is, in a word, difficult. Where many American musicians are somewhat spoiled for choice as to which clubs to play, Wuerdig has no such abundance. Nothing in the country is allowed to stay open past midnight. Well, there is one exception…"Of course there's one club open after hours," he writes, "and that just happens to be owned by one of the president's daughters."
Uzbek President Islam Karimov often sounds less like a statesman than like Soprano family lieutenant Paulie Walnuts. In 1999, after alleged religious extremists hijacked a bus, Karimov went ballistic. Agence France-Presse reported this gem: "I'm prepared to rip off the heads of 200 people, to sacrifice their lives, in order to save peace and calm in the republic…If my child chose such a path, I myself would rip off his head." (As his daughter's head remains firmly attached to her body, it's apparent he doesn't view operating a speakeasy as harshly as busnapping. And while we're on the subject of boozy presidential daughters, perhaps Dubya would have more success with Jenna if he threatened her so imaginatively.)

So why is a Houston musician living in a country run by an apparent human guillotine like Karimov? Love and diplomacy. Wuerdig's wife, whose surname he now bears instead of his birth name of Van Winkle, is a German diplomat whom he met at the Last Concert Cafe's annual Watermelon Festival. When Ms. Wuerdig's term was up at the Houston consulate, the German foreign service offered her a choice of reassignment in Karachi, Pakistan, or Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. Since neither of these is considered a plum posting, the Wuerdigs fought to wangle a move to the relative garden spot of Tashkent. After playing a farewell show at Houston's Chameleon Club, Wuerdig shipped out for Uzbekistan on Thanksgiving Day, 2000.

Wuerdig spent the first few months getting acclimated to Uzbekistan. He writes that there are water and power shortages every day. And then there's the phone system…"Last August somebody climbed the telephone pole and stole the cable from our house that connects us to the phone system," Wuerdig writes. "After bribing them about $40 they finally hooked us back up. A month ago the line caught on fire and after a week of arguing they re-connected us but reversed the lines. We had a hooker's number and she had ours."

Uzbek food and drink also took some getting used to. Tony Avitia of I-45 told Racket that his first mission after moving to California was hunting down places to buy Tony Chachere's seasoning salt and Shiner Bock beer. Wuerdig had it a little rougher. In addition to a vodka Wuerdig likens to paint thinner, Uzbeks enjoy tippling on fermented mare's milk. "They milk a horse and put the milk in a bag to help it sour faster," Wuerdig explains. "It ferments and they drink it as if it were champagne. It's elegant and only for special occasions…Got milk?"

Wuerdig credits his wife's vegetarianism with saving him from several bouts of food poisoning. A typical Uzbek grocery is stocked with rotten, dried meat and funky, melted cheese, but also plenty of carrots, onions and potatoes -- staples that made up virtually all of their diet for the first four months of their stay. "When we leave I will never look at those three vegetables again," he vows. "Whenever I'm in the U.S. or Germany I eat as much junk food as humanly possible without having a heart attack."

After getting over the culture shock, Wuerdig set about relaunching Raindance in Tashkent. Prospective bandmates saw him as the rich American. After all, didn't he already have a CD -- the locally produced, independently released Shake It Baby -- on shelves in America? "I was asked for cash to practice, to record, to play live, to learn their music, everything," he writes. "It took me a while to find good musicians that would do it for the love of music."

Eventually, Wuerdig got the band up and running. Their gigs have been almost exclusively at hotels and embassies. Raindance narrowly missed out on a truly historic gig as the first rock band to play in bordering Afghanistan. "We offered to do a free concert for the troops during the war but due to security concerns they declined at the last minute," he writes. "We were literally packing our gear to drive out to - Houston Press


"The Cornerstone by Rocky Stone (May 2007)"

Live recordings are always treacherous, dangerous and often disastrous affairs. Performers brave or foolheartedly enough to attempt them are frequently faced with recordings that showcase their warts and weaknesses in equal or greater measure to their strengths. The new disc New Beginnings: Live from Acoustic Chaos from Wil Van Winkle undertakes this challenge with a set of live recordings from a show at Fitzgerald’s nightclub, and the results are mixed. The sonic mélange of acoustic guitars, bass and percussion does not vary much on the ten tracks presented (continued on page 34) here.
But even within the sonic sameness, some interesting textures and atmospheres emerge from time to time. Like the dusky shimmering texture “Pygmy” which benefits from the relative sparseness of the arrangement.
The two studio tracks which close the disc fare much better. “Lighter Side” with its bedroom sketchpad quality and the sunny and warm sounding “Back in the Day” are enjoyable listening indeed, as are the more promising songs in the live set, such as “It Must Be Love” and “Only Friend” Wil Van Winkle has served up some lively music infused with interesting polyrhythms and his strong and unique voice.
- Music News


Discography

A Change in the Weather 2007
New Beginnings: Live from Acoustic Chaos 2008
Christmas Halfway Around the World 2009
Army of Me (Single) 2011
Amber Seas (Single) 2013

Photos

Bio

From campgrounds to coffee houses, college campus to clothing optional resorts; Alt Country/Americana/Rock Artist Wil Van Winkle has played them all. No stranger to the road Wil has entertained audiences through three continents, 6 countries, and cities all over the USA, “Wil Van Winkle has served up some lively music infused with interesting polyrhythms and his strong and unique voice.” (- Rocky Stone from Music News May 2007)

Born in Tampa, Florida; raised in Houston, Texas, Wil was introduced to live music at the age of three. Whenever his Grandfather would play guitar, Wil would hold a violin mimicking him. At the age of 13 he received a pawn shop guitar for Christmas and began on his path to becoming a singer/songwriter/performer. With influences ranging from Alternative to Blues, Rock, and beyond he found it hard to stick to just one style but found that by incorporating all of these influences into his writing he was able to appeal to a wide range of audiences, which can be seen when looking at some of his past gigs, including a Democratic Convention and a Republican Fund Raiser/Police Chief's Party both in Texas, Cancer Benefits, and various coffee shops, hotels, clubs, house concerts, and wineries.

Playing such a wide range of concerts in so many places has earned him sponsorships from Heineken, KAO Kampgrounds, Prilosec OTC and an endorsement deal from Knucklehead Guitar Strings. Wil Van Winkle has seen his share of attention from the media; as well, he has appeared on Fox Morning News with his former collaborator, Brit Shea, been written up in several entertainment circulars, and performed and been interviewed on radio stretching from the former USSR to California.

When asked about his experiences on the road Wil simply states, “People tell me all the time how interesting my life must be, to me its just my life. I never really thought about it from somebody else's perspective.”