Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Willis Earl Beal

To say that 27-year-old Willis Earl Beal has lived a colourful life would be a serious understatement. The Chicago native will tell you that his life has been one of "monotony" - which it has at times - but stints in the army, an ongoing desire to be a superhero, bouts of serious illness and a stretch of sleeping rough in an unfamiliar desert town would suggest otherwise. As an outsider artist, Beal's career always existed just beyond his imagination, with a history of leaving homemade novels, artwork and CD-Rs across America to promote his work, suggesting a desperate desire to be heard. This practice of "gifting" - matched with a natural booming voice, rich with range and a talent for penning raw, beautiful melodies - led to early features in both Found and the Chicago Reader that changed his life's course. Beal's creativity caught the attention of Hot Charity / XL Recordings who released Acousmatic Sorcery in March, 2012 - an 11 song set Beal wrote and recorded on a discarded karaoke machine while living in Albuquerque, NM.
Since the release of Acousmatic Sorcery, Willis Earl Beal has toured the world, performing in clubs and festivals with nothing more than his guitar and back-up tape machine to support him. Delivering soul baring performances night after night, Beal has been lauded for not only his vocal mastery but the intensity with which he performs. And, even though his following has grown and the broadsheets have backed him, his desire to be heard on his own terms has not changed - which is why he's collaborating with BitTorrent to continue his practice of "gifting" music to the world for the curious to discover.