West coast roots artist WiL is on his way to Chilliwack Oct. 17 in support of his new album El Paseo.
The name means ‘the ride’ in Spanish, and that’s how it feels.
It’s a return to Bozzini’s in Chilliwack for WiL and he’ll be doing two shows that night.
He was born Wil Mimnaugh, and goes by the stage name WiL.
His fifth studio album actually came into being with the help of loyal fans and some crowd-funding through FanPush.
It was his wife Caroline’s bright idea.
“When it played out the way that it did, it was unbelievable,” he tells the Progress from his home on Vancouver Island.
He was a little surprised, and initially thought the effort would maybe raise $50, but in the end, it was more than enough to put out the $10,000 album.
“When you get that kind of support, it can’t help but feel good.”
It allowed him to put out 11 polished and personal songs this year with El Paseo.
WiL will be joined at Bozzini’s by drummer Keith Gallant and Lena Birtwistle on backup vocals.
He’s played guitar since he was 13 and is known for popping strings with his passionate performance.
But he promises the show runs the gamut, and that they can also master the power of quiet.
“Like church mice wearing marshmallows for slipppers,” he says.
WiL says he’ll probably sing the catchy and light-hearted tune, Make Make, which has been climbing the CBC Radio 2 Top 20 charts.
“It was one of the more fun, goofy little tunes I wrote,” he said.
It came to him, and broke a period of writer’s block, when he was tenderly nursing his wife back to health after a bout with the flu.
“I made her soup and toast for two weeks and while she was blowing her nose, shivering and watching Netflix, I was in the next room, since our house is really small, writing Make Make!
“Sometimes it’s the strangest of occurrences that inspires us.”
It’s about recording the extraordinary aspects of the mundane.
“Sometimes you write songs about the stuff that is right in front of you,” he said. “When someone asks you a question, you just give them the answer. It’s writing without reservations or filters.”
The support from fans really helped during the writing process.
“These songs just came pouring out of me; they are some of the best I feel I have ever written to date and I’m so grateful that I am now able to record these songs and put the best of what we got on the new record,” says WiL. “Was it a labour of love? Yes, absolutely, and I’m proud of the outcome. Like my career there’s no certainty; of fame, of money, of anything really – I’m just in it for the ride (with my gal, of course). It’s bloody scary and thrilling, dark and bright, wondrous and wicked. It’s a roller coaster ride.”
WIL performs an early and a late show in the upstairs lounge at Bozzini’s on October 17. Showtimes are 6 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. with tables available 90 minutes prior for dinner and drinks. Tickets are $20 or call 604 792 0744 to reserve by phone.