Friday, February 24, 2012

Blue Escape & Soul Food: Willis Earl Beal - "Evening's Kiss" (Black Tom Waits?)

I'm quite pleasantly surprised to admit that in today's world of over-saturated online [Hipster] "Journalism," no one else has snatched up the term, "Renaissance Man" to aptly describe Chicago-bred singer-songwriter/artist, Willis Earl Beal. He gained an initial burst of notoriety and a pseudo-cult following after hanging a number of hand-drawn flyers, complete with his digits, up around town. Beal managed to slip away @ some point in between 2007-09, moving down to Albuquerque, New Mexico, assembled a pick-up band of local musicians, and record a demo CD-R chock-full of simple Blues ditties. After a whirl-wind of media coverage, Willis Earl Beal soon inked a deal with XL Recordings off-shoot label, Hot Charity in 2011-12... a hodgepodge of un-sequenced CD-R's and hissing cassette tapes would eventually wind up being Beal's debut "album:" Acousmatic Sorcery, which the label plans to release on April 3rd.

Willis Earl Beal pain-stakingly wrote, hand drew, and directed the companion music video for the album's lead single, "Evening's Kiss." Executed in the same rough, skitchy style as Chicago's [self-]promo flyers, I can only begin to imagine how long it took Beal to create! For that matter, nothing particularly "Earth-shattering" ever really even happens... Willis Earl Beal can be seen leading his everyday life: walking/biking around the city, coffee shop pit stop, breaking & entering, deep thought, and even eyeing up a local diner's waitress - Seemingly the object of affection, whom "Evening's Kiss" is directed. Feel free to contact Willis Earl Beal @ (773)-295-2135 or P.O. Box 4718881, Chicago, IL 60647. Be sure to save a few bucks and pick up a copy of Acousmatic Sorcery on Tuesday, April 3rd; Willis Earl Beal is currently gearing up for a short, nation-wide tour jaunt along with SBTRKT & WU LYF (March-April).

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