Will McCranie
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Will McCranie

Augusta, GA | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Augusta, GA | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Solo Alternative Acoustic

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Augusta Magazine - Best of Augusta 2013:

Best Male Vocalist - Will McCranie, like any stellar performer, splits his time between the Big Apple and Augusta. We like a man who is never too big to go back to New York City. - Augusta Magazine


June 21st, 2013:

After years performing with other bands and artists, Will McCranie is back to how it all started, just him and his guitar. He will play Saturday at 8 p.m. at Acoustic Coffeehouse, 415 W. Walnut St.


McCranie is an accomplished musician and has shared the stage with Mike Gordon (Phish) and Joe Russo (Furthur); played on the same bills as Goo Goo Dolls & Colbie Caillat; and studied under Jamie McLean (Jamie McLean Band/ Dirty Dozen Brass Band), Jake Cinninger (Umphrey’s McGee) and Jon “Barber” Gutwillig (The Disco Biscuits).


Born and raised in Georgia, McCranie’s Southern roots of soul and jazz influence can always be heard in his music. Now a New Yorker, he is no stranger to the music scene. He has released several projects over the years including “North/South” (2009), “smile.shift.speak” (2010) and “Trio” (2011). One of his most interesting releases was what he called the “52/52 Project”: He released one song a week for 52 weeks.


For the release of the first single, McCranie worked with musician and super producer, Matty Amendola. On working with Amendola, McCranie says, “Matty and I are so different and so the same it’s not even funny. We both like to work at a fast pace to avoid too much second-guessing. I love that he encourages me to really be myself and find my own sound, while at the same time pushing me just far enough out of my comfort zone.” This mutual respect for one another is what makes this collaboration work so well.


With Amendola’s confidence boost, McCranie sent his single “Ain’t That Strange?” into Fieldhouse/BMG, but with few expectations. A few weeks later, ironically on the fifth anniversary of the day he left Georgia for the Big Apple, he got a call from them and in March, they inked a publishing deal.


On going back solo from his trio, McCranie says, “There’s something really liberating and adventurous about having no one but yourself to fall back on.” He will be showcasing those solo skills on the road this summer with an acoustic tour featuring some very special guests that will be announced soon.


If that wasn’t enough, he is also in the studio recording his upcoming full-length album, “I Know I Didn’t Know Anything” with Amendola. “I Know I Didn’t Know Anything” is a testament of how McCranie has grown as a person, as musician and most importantly as a songwriter. He really commits to each track and puts his own twist on it.
- Johnson City Press


Anchoring both ends of the emotion spectrum, intense and laid back are not typically used together to describe a musical experience, unless the music being experienced is from Will McCranie.

Tonight, the New York City-based musician will travel the highways and byways to Bloomsburg for a performance that not only encompasses a wide range of feelings, but also a myriad of musical styles.

“I pull from a huge range of influences but my music is a blend of my southern roots with soul and jazz. I’m a big fan of improvisation, so I do my best to mix things up to keep it fresh for myself and the fans,” McCranie said. “Someone once told me my music was simultaneously one of the most intense and laid back performance they’d ever seen. I like to think that’s pretty close to the truth.”

With guitar in hand and a voice both distinct yet reminiscent of a vinyl recording of a well-worn blues record, McCranie brings to life music about life, its triumphs and tragedies with an effortless manor that comes from many years of playing any and every venue he could find, no matter how difficult or discouraging it might have been.

“When I was starting out in my hometown, I was told I’d never play a pizza restaurant or bar again. A few years later, also in my hometown, I was opening for the Goo Goo Dolls and Colbie Caillat on a huge festival-sized stage,” he said. “Funny how things play out if you love something, keep at it and you’ll figure it out.”

And that’s just what this young musician did, crediting his greatest success as being able to pay his over- inflated rent in New York City while being a full time musician. Not bad for a musician who accidentally Super Glued his lips together as a kid.

Playing a mixed bag of covers and original music, McCranie has a tendency to dabble in a wide range of musical instruments, including the drums, and is often known to perform cover songs the crowd will quickly recognize along with covers people don’t expect from an acoustic act.

His latest single, “Ain’t That Strange,” showcases his songwriting skills and the emotion he puts into each note. The song tells the story of the possibility and timing of love, or as McCraine describes the meaning of the song, it’s a “pretty simple story.

“Not being the most popular of kids, there are girls you almost had. You part ways for a few years, start playing some shows, get a little more recognition, run into those girls, hit it off and Yahtzee! It’s about the idea of what a difference a year or two makes in terms of perception and relationships.”

And those years have treated him well both as a musician and a song writer.

“As far as my music, I can promise you some honest songs, without taking myself too seriously — or seriously at all, for that matter — and some good fun in the way of sing-a-longs,” he said. “Music just makes sense to me more than anything else. I love writing. I love performing. I love the people I meet along the way.” - The Daily Item


We’ve been following Georgia-bred, NYC-based musician Will McCranie’s career since early in 2009 when we came across his outstanding North/South EP. Since that time we’ve formed a friendship with Will and he’s even contributed concert reviews and played our fifth anniversary party back in October. While we appreciated his solo material, we’re particularly fond of the band he put together, the Will McCranie Trio or WM3, which features a hard-nosed blues-meets-indie sound.



Today WM3 has released a 25-minute, seven-track EP that shows off Will’s emotion-laden songwriting and gritty electric guitar skills as well as the intensity given to McCranie’s tunes by the rhythm section of bassist Noah Schipani-Trivier and drummer Tommy Walsh. WM3 will celebrate the release of the self-titled EP this evening at Arlene’s Grocery in NYC. For a taste of the EP and what you can expect tonight, here’s my favorite track from the release – Never Again:
- Glide Magazine/ Hidden Track


Will McCranie loves music with every last bone in his body. It’s undeniable. He’s the exact opposite of the musician who only has time for his own music. He’s the guy who you see at every show, and he somehow already knows your friends before you even get a chance to make the introduction. This week, Will has an exciting solo release which I think is his best representation to date, produced masterfully by Matty Amendola. Have a look at The Making of Ain’t That Strange…

http://youtu.be/tU4yKxs2ePQ - Glide Magazine/ Hidden Track


By Nikki Skinner, Correspondent

Will McCranie didn’t know that stepping out from behind the drums and into the spotlight of the microphone would open up so many opportunities.

McCranie, of New York City, grew up around music. He was in the church choir, took piano lessons as a child and even played with his grandfather’s old marching snare. It wasn’t until middle school that he really started paying attention to his music, though.

“I actually tried to get placed on the saxophone,” McCranie said. “Lord knows how differently my life might have been if I’d gone that route. Our band director knew better and put me on percussion. I am incredibly thankful for that, as I transferred a lot of what I learned as a drummer to my guitar playing.”

He plays any instrument he can get his hands on, but guitar, drums, and percussion are usually what he plays live. It was during the end of his senior year and the beginning of his college career at Augusta State University that he decided to make a change. He realized it would be easier to become a songwriter if he took a step away from the drums and focused more on the guitar. After meeting and working with Pat Blanchard and Brandon Bower, McCranie said it only deepened his interest in songwriting and playing the acoustic guitar.

While attending Augusta State, McCranie did not major in music education. Instead, he received a degree in marketing and business management. Teaching music was just not as interesting, McCranie said.

“I feel like I made the right choice,” McCranie said. “This degree has really helped me with the networking aspect of my career. It has helped me with understanding what I really need to be doing.”

McCranie is all about setting goals for himself. It is his personal type of motivation. One of the first goals he set for himself, after graduating, was that he would do something great within a year of graduating. While vacationing with his family in New York, he picked up the book “Into the Wild,” by John Krakauer. It was inspiring, McCranie said.

“I liked the idea of going out and finding my own Alaska,” McCranie said. “By the end of the trip, I told my family I was moving to New York in three months.”

Many of his friends and family were not sure he would go through with it. The best motivation is to be told that something can’t be done, McCranie said.

“I thought it was a great idea for him,” said Michael Baideme, 34, of North Augusta, S.C. “A very gutsy move to go to the big apple, but I thought it was a good move.”

McCranie now lives in New York as a successful musician. When he is not writing or recording, he plays guitar for several different artist. McCranie said he has played with Mike Gordon, of Phish; Joe Russo, from Further; and even Jake Cinniger, of Umphrey’s McGee. He is also a part of a cover band called the Cleaners. He has self-released several different projects such as “52/52? in 2010 and “Will McCranie Trio” in 2011. He is currently working on a new single.

“I think people will be glad to hear Will McCranie again,” said Matty Amendola, the owner of Indie Label 825 Records. “It’s not his trio, it’s not him playing with another band and it’s just straight up him. He is a great player, singer, writer, etc. People are going to love it.”

McCranie knows when to push for something he really wants. He knows when to sit back and just be patient at times, Amendola said.

“We recorded the single fairly quickly, and we’re trying to get everything in order for its release hopefully in February,” Amendola said. “We’ll have an EPK video footage of us recording the song in the studio and music video, updated sites and social networks. It’s going to be really exciting.”

He has accomplished many things since moving to the Big Apple. The greatest accomplishment so far is that he is still there writing and helping produce his own music while being able to balance a relationship with his wife and work, McCranie said. - Augusta State University: The Bell Ringer


Which is better, musically speaking, the old or the new? Which are more effective – vintage techniques or cutting-edge technologies? Should we, as artists and fans, look to the past or toward the future?

There is, of course, no true answer and yet, these are questions I find myself contemplating lately. I know I tend to embrace the ancient and archaic, preaching the gospel of tube amps and vinyl records. That’s my preference. It doesn’t make it right.

I bring these rather foundational and fundamental questions up because as quickly as the digital age allows us to flash forward, there’s still significance in doing things the way we used to.

On one side of the argument sits Augusta-bred singer-songwriter Will McCranie. Although McCranie, now a New York resident, only occasionally appears in Augusta, he clearly didn’t believe that was any reason not to have a hometown record release party. In fact, he celebrated his new single, the rather infectious Ain’t That Strange?, with an intimate performance that was Web cast to any hometown than might be interested. His digital campaign doesn’t end there, however.
He has also put together an impressive electronic press kit, a polished making-of documentary and has ensured that the song is available on digital retailers such as Amazon and iTunes. It’s the kind of push that seems more appropriate for an album rather than a single song, but it is working.

People were curious about the event and, by association, have become familiar with the song.

ON THE OTHER SIDE of the coin is the Miller Theater.

On Saturday, I had the very great pleasure to be part of the first audience at the storied Broad Street venue since the mid-1980s. The event was arranged to give those charged with restoring the theater an acoustic baseline to work from.

A small chamber orchestra attracted warm bodies on a cold day, an audience, with the help of some carefully arranging batting, replicated what an orchestra and audience might sound like in the as-yet undetermined future.

The answer – pretty good.

While there is clearly work – a massive amount – to be done before the Miller is ready to again open its doors, chances are when it does the sound will be fantastic. The woodwinds didn’t bounce and echo. The low rumble of the bass and timpani stood out. The strings, unamplified, soared to the back wall, clean and clear. It was remarkable, but not magical.

There is an easy explanation for why music sounded so spectacular in the faded glory of the cold, cold room. That’s the way the Miller Theater was built. It was built with dense brick and plaster. It was built with high ceilings and a low-slung balcony. It was built with comfort, clear sightlines and, most important, acoustics in mind. There’s no digital trickery, no hidden electronics altering what an audience hears. There’s nothing but old fashioned craftsmanship, the kind of craftsmanship that no longer seems to exist.

So what is the answer? Is the future of music to be ceded to the youngbloods or the old school? Will technology lead us into the future or does the very nature of music necessitate taking a more traditional approach? The answer is probably a little of both. I hope so. - The Augusta Chronicle


Grab your coffee and enjoy the songs from Will McCranie. He has a great voice and a similar style to the Goo Goo Dolls. In fact, McCranie has actually opened for the Goo Goo Dolls. He said he stumbled upon our Steve Clayton picks in a music store and has since used them for about 5 years. We are happy to endorse such a talented artist and feel Will McCranie will be making it big in the near future.
His 52/52 Project is impressive with one new song each week for the year of 2010. You can findout more at 5252Project.com. Check out his popular song titles “Everything” and “It Ain’t Like Georgia” on his myspace. Congratulations Will we look forward to following you this year! - Steve Clayton USA


I had about given up on seeing a copy of Will McCranie's oft-promised double EP. My copy, nicely personalized by Mr. McCranie, hit my mailbox Monday morning.

Mr. McCranie's change of scenery (he now lives in New York City) seems to have done him a world of good. While the second of the two EPs, dubbed South, is fine, as good or better than anything Mr. McCranie had released thus far, it's the tunes he has recorded in New York that really shine.

Mr. McCranie has always been a talented guitar player and had a winning way with the wistful lyric, but these newer tracks show his growth as both a songwriter and arranger. I've always believe that Mr. McCranie is an artist better served by being in a band (John Kruger is another local example of the phenomenon).

The songs on North (Get it? North and South? Cute.) prove my point. They are smart, catchy and self-assured.

Clearly, fighting for cabs has done a world of good for Mr. McCranie's confidence.

I'm particularly fond of You&Me, Maybe. Mr. McCranie is planning a return to old turf, officially launching North/South in Augusta sometime in the early spring.


See it in its original context at: http://chronicle.augusta.com/stories/2009/02/05/uhl_510246.shtml


- The Augusta Chronicle 02.05.2009


By Stoney ⋅ March 17, 2009


Will McCranie
North South
Singer-songwriter Will McCranie looks like your average All-American cute kid next door. With his tussled blond hair and wide-eyed gaze McCranie could easily fit in nicely on the pages of any teenybopper magazine next to Aaron Carter or maybe those three Hanson kids a few years back.

All that gets tossed out the door the second this early twenty-something Augustan hits the first note of any of his numerous originals and starts singing. His songs may include a touch of catchiness but bubblegum they surely are not.
On McCranie’s latest release North South, McCranie mixes experiences from his hometown of Augusta, Georgia with those of his new home base in the Big Apple, New York City.

Made up of a pair of sessions recorded nearly a year apart from each other in two vastly different parts of the US, North Southis a unique take on where McCranie has been, where he is, and where he may be headed. Released as a “double EP”, the only thing the two discs contained within this package have in common are in fact McCranie himself.

The first disc, titled North and featuring McCranie’s most recent recordings, was tracked at The Buddy Project in New York and finds McCranie surrounded by more than able sounding studio musicians. North kicks off with an updated “bare bones” version of McCranie favorite City Lights before sliding into a roller coaster of ups and downs, going from the pure pop goodness of You&Me, Maybe to the all out ferocious rock of standout This Time eventually sailing into the autobiographical beauty of Laura’s Song.

South, recorded at the Jam Room in Columbia, South Carolina in 2007 and originally released as GREENEYESSPEAKTRUTHiNLiES last year, is easily the most subtle of the two discs in this collection with live track This Time being the most aggressive track despite the absence of percussion. Where North shows personal growth, South stands out as more musically personal featuring McCranie pals Jacob Beltz, John Kolbeck, and former James Brown drummer Erik Hargrove in support.

Perhaps more than anything, North South presents a touching time capsule of a young artist still growing. South, for all its raw emotion, still exhibits an innocence that is replaced by an obvious maturity in McCranie’s vocals within the newer material found on North. While the vocals on many of McCranie’s earlier efforts come off as forced at times, on this latest batch the delivery is more natural and soothing pushing North over the top as McCranie’s most impressive and ambitious work to date.
- LokalLoudness.org


By Stoney · February 12, 2008 · ·

Armed with a new ep release and his second Lokal Loudness Music Choice Award for Favorite Solo Artist Will McCranie has all the pieces in place to make a huge mark on the Augusta music scene. Instead, the young singer-songwriter has decided to take all those pieces to help himself find a place in congested music mecca New York City. What will his new future hold? Lokal Loudness talked with "Willie Mac" to find out.

LL - First off, congrats on a great new ep as well winning the Favorite solo artist category at last weekends Choice Awards.
WM - Thank you. I have to say it's been a pretty great month.

LL - You have been pretty excited about this recording for a while now. What's had you all hopped up about this release in particular?
WM - First off, it's been 3 years since I released "A Caffeinated Fiasco." My writing has changed, and I feel my playing style has evolved. Other than a couple MySpace demos, this was the first chance to get a couple songs in some peoples hands. I had a lot of ups and downs trying to get this recorded. In the end, The Jam Room folks came through again.

LL - Now strangely enough, you just put out this great new release here in Augusta, got the fave solo artist award, things all ready to get a good push around the area and just like that you've decided to move to New York. Whats up with that?
WM - I actually had the plan in my head before deciding to release the CD, and the timing of the LL Award is coincidence. Augusta is home… end of story. But, if you really want to ever take a shot at anything, you have to keep pushing yourself. I think being too comfortable is a quick end to motivation.

LL - Now why New York and not, say, Nashville or even Atlanta?
WM - I've been in love with New York for a long time. I think I was 12 years old when I first went and I was hooked. And there's a good handful of Davidson Fine Arts alums lurking around.

LL - Is this something you just recently thought about doing or were you just waiting until you finished school?
WM -That wasn't a new plan… I really had a goal of doing some big change in my life within a year of graduating, and that was Cinco de Mayo of last year. Clock's ticking, I suppose.

LL - When do you leave? Will there be any more Augusta shows before you head North?
WM - I played Joe's last nite. I didnt really do much to announce it. Actually Keith Gregory switched Mondays with me, since I have an interview up there next Tuesday. It was actually a blast, just to see who cruised through the door. I bought the bar a shot at the end of my last set… it was a cool send off from there. I'll be back for at least a week, if everything goes well with my interview. And I hope some bar will
let me have a last minute sendoff jam.

LL - What will you miss most about Augusta?
WM - My family. And being a downtown rat has been quite amusing.

LL - There isn't a Metro Coffee House up there. You're not gonna go all Starbucks on us are you?
WM- Please don't remind me. The only place I can have a shot of espresso, a shot of Wild Turkey, and a PBR… at the same time. I've run across a few chill coffeehouses in the Village, but I fear my funds will not allow me to sit still too much.

LL - So are you just heading straight there or will you be gigging up the coast during your trip?
WM -Beeline. Unfortunately, my moving date will depend on a job. I can't start out up there on music alone.

LL - Well you know a lot of folks are gonna miss you so you better come back every so often.
WM -I'm not that easy to get rid of… I'll be around

LL - Any parting message for your friends here in the AUG?
WM -Umphrey's at the Nokia Theatre. Who's with me? …in all seriousness. I love this town. I love the folks. I can't wait to see what's next.

LL - Are right Willie Mac it's been a pleasure as always.
WM -Always, Stoney Mac.

LL - Don't forget about us when you become a papparrazi magnet.
WM - I'd be banned from Metro, how could I?
- LokalLoudness.org


On one of the coldest days in recent memory, Will McCranie couldn’t stop sweating. When Will takes the stage - as he did on that bitterly cold evening for a record release party at Banjo Jim’s - he puts every ounce of energy into performing his heartfelt songs often leaving him in a pool of sweat. This two-time winner of the Lokal Loudness Award for Favorite Solo Act in Augusta, GA moved to New York City last year with eyes on furthering his musical journey in the big city.

The singer/songwriter, who hails from Augusta, GA, has just released a double EP - North / South - featuring one CD recorded in Augusta and a second disc with material recorded in NYC. McCranie succeeds in showing off two sides of his creativity as you can smell magnolias while listening to the South EP and feel the brashness of the big city when listening to the North EP. Will’s songs sound like a mix of Warren Zevon and Dave Matthews’ best with a little Cat Stevens thrown in for good measure. - Glide Magazine Blog: Hidden Track


From the Metro Spirit:
Issue #20.31::
02/25/2009 - 03/03/2009


Will McCranie
North/South
by Dino Lull

AUGUSTA, GA - With a slightly rough voice, singer-songwriter Will McCranie brings out just the right amount of attitude on his newest album "North/South." Not your typical acoustic guitarist, McCranie blends a little more into his music than is standard. Sometimes sounding more like slow Pearl Jam instead of the standard Dave Matthews sound of most bands, McCranie shows he can stylishly do two things: play catchy music and write damn fine lyrics.


The double disc "North/South" delivers 12 songs with signature flare from this Southern musician. Both soft and energetic at the same time, the album gives fans some classic tunes such as “City Lights,” “This Time” and “My Last Stand,” just to name a few.


For anyone interested in not just another cookie cutter singer-songwriter, but one with true heart and grit, Will McCranie is just that man. "North/South" is the album every fan of bluesy Springsteen-ish attitude-driven acoustic music needs to have in their collection.






See the review in its original context at: http://metrospirit.com/index.php?cat=1993101070394080&ShowArticle_ID=11012402092997625 - Metro Spirit


Singer-songwriter Will McCranie has announced the upcoming release of a new EP. The Augusta native will issue After Midnight Friends, Volume 1 on October 14 via Broken Compass Records.

The three-track EP finds McCranie joined by Patrick Blanchard on guitar and bass, Zachery Coleman on drums and Russ McLaughlin on keyboards. Will enlisted Blanchard and Jeff Tomei to produce his first new release since 2014’s I Know I Didn’t Know Anything. Look for the After Midnight Friends series to continue in 2017.

Listen to “Hell Yeah!” for a taste of the new EP: http://www.willmccranie.com/releases/ - JamBase


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

Will McCranie is not just another singer/songwriter. He is an accomplished musician and has shared the stage with Mike Gordon (Phish) & Joe Russo (Furthur); played on the same bills as Goo Goo Dolls & Colbie Caillat; and studied under Jamie McLean (Jamie McLean Band/ Dirty Dozen Brass Band), Jake Cinninger (Umphrey's McGee) & Jon "Barber" Gutwillig (The Disco Biscuits).

After a nearly 8 year stint of gigging, touring, writing & recording with New York City as his home base, Augusta, GA's prodigal son has returned. During his time in The Big Apple, McCranie averaged well over 100 live performances a year (playing shows with the likes of Goo Goo Dolls, Colbie Caillat, Kevn Kinney, Angie Aparo & Michael Tolcher along the way), released 3 EP's and a full length LP under his own name, played on nearly a dozen releases with other artists, recorded/released a song a week for over a year on his 52/52 PROJECT & signed a sync/licensing deal with Fieldhouse Music/BMG. 

McCranie is now set to follow up his 2014 release, I Know I Didn't Know Anything, with a new EP After Midnight Friends, Volume 1 on Broken Compass Records on October 14th, 2016.  Veteran super-producer Jeff Tomei returned to the helm, along with Will's longtime friend & mentor Patrick Blanchard for the After Midnight Friendssessions. Grammy nominated Glenn Schick mastered the collection from the road in South Korea. The EP was recorded in just one weekend at Cock of the Walk Studios in Kennesaw, GA and the result is McCranie's most honest and live sounding collection to date. AMF, Volume 1 is the first in a series that will continue in 2017.

Will McCranie's tunes are a carefully balanced mix of alternative/pop-rock influences blended with his southern roots. You feel like after listening to the his music that you have opened a beautiful music box filled with love, life, happiness, sadness, honesty and truth.  It’s a mix of all these feelings and experiences that really make McCranie a songwriter you can connect with and who is only going to bring you alongside him on this musical journey. 

Roll the windows down. Buckle up. And here we go...

Band Members