Thursday, March 21, 2013

Artist Of The Day: Willis Earl Beal

Almost everyone is a sucker for rags to riches success stories. Perhaps it’s because humanity has a tendency to root for the underdog, or perhaps because it illustrates just what we’re capable of if really we put our minds to something. Of all the artists who have struggled and toiled to succeed in their trade, few have invested more emotionally than Willis Earl Beal. Beal found himself homeless after a medical discharge from the United States Army and he began working entry-level jobs – all whilst pursuing his love of music. Acousmatic Sorcery is the emotional out-pour of a man who struggled through the tedium and wrote songs when he had “no logical reason to be hopeful.” Thankfully, logic didn't stop him from writing and recording and leaving CD’s and flyers quite literally scattered around Albuquerque. Logic also didn't stop him from getting signed.

Beal’s acoustic guitar is rough and distorted, and the production is fuzzy and untamed, but it’s exactly the way Beal intended it to be. By contrast, Beal’s voice glides through the noise and provides a constant soothing reprieve, felt most effectively on the sentient “Evening’s Kiss.” Acousmatic Sorcery was written by the self proclaimed “primary example as to why anybody can do anything,” and the pain and misery which permeates all of the songs here makes this underdog’s story one which we can all root for.

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