The blues singer's music was made while he was homeless – but do the tunes match the intriguing backstory?
Willis Earl Beal is a singer with one hell of a backstory – his debut album consists of lo-fi demos recorded while Beal was homeless. Does the music match the myth? Michael Hann thought not in his Guardian review, but others – such as Paul Lester – have been spellbound.
As for Beal himself? He explains his crackly, lo-fi sound is simply a result of the situation in which he recorded his songs – expect a glossy pop record in the future.
Willis Earl Beal is a Chicago born artist and musician.
Beal was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. In his early twenties Beal joined the US Army, moving to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Beal was medically discharged from the army due to intestinal problems. He then returned to Chicago where he worked at Sears Tower, following a five month hospital stay. In 2007, Beal moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Here Beal spent some time homeless, and working low-level jobs, notably as a night-shift security guard. During this time Beal began to record music, leaving CD-Rs in public spaces around Alburquerque. Beal would also leave self-illustrated flyers around the town in the hope of finding a girlfriend. One of these flyers was discovered by Found Magazine who put Beal on the cover of their magazine. Found later released a limited-edition box set called The Willis Earl Beal Collection, which included Beal's poetry, artwork and a 17-song album. Through these flyers and the subsequent coverage in Found, Beal was contacted by more than 100 members of the public.
In 2012, Beal signed a recording contract with Hot Charity, an imprint of independent record label, XL Recordings. Beal's first single for the labels, "Evening's Kiss" was released on February 17 2012 and the accompanying music video was illustrated by Beal. Beal's debut album, entitled Acoustmatic Sorcery was released on April 2 2012.
Totally Fuzzy was the name, music discovery was the game.
It only took one braindead Google monkey to destroy almost 10 years of dedication...
The next round will be played on our own terms on
Friday, April 06, 2012
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