Willis Earl Beal @ Schubas during TNK 2012 (more by Zach Pollack)
While browsing at Myopic Books this past February, I saw a peculiar flyer: "I want some friends & stuff," it read. "I am not a Weasel." It included a name--Willis Earl Beal--along with a phone number and a drawing of a slender black man, apparently a self-portrait. I tried calling the number that day--and then several more times over the next few months. In late May, I finally talked to somebody at the other end.Ever since the Chicago Reader profiled genre-straddling songwriter Willis Earl Beal last year, we've been hooked on the bedroom recording artist whose output ranges from deep, booming soul ("Same Old Tears," "Take Me Away," below) to anti-folk ("Evening's Kiss," below).
Beal, 27, turns out to be an aspiring artist in several disciplines--he draws, plays music, and writes poetry and fiction. "I like to believe I do art because I have to do it--it's like vomit," he says. "I don't do art because I love it so much. Not that I don't, but it's a natural thing."... [Chicago Reader]
A lot has changed since that late-July Reader story, namely the fact that Beal has been signed to XL Recordings imprint Hot Charity, who will be releasing his debut LP, Acousmatic Sorcery, on April 3rd. As mentioned, he's also been tapped by label cousin SBTRKT to open a number of his North American tour dates before heading out on the road with WU LYF..
Before any of the above takes place though, Beal will be releasing an "Evening's Kiss" 7" b/w "The Later Parade" on February 21st, and BV Chicago is proud to present a FREE Willis Earl Beal 7" release show that's happening that night, at Cole's Bar in Logan Square, at 9:30PM. Opener TBA. First come, first served. Stay tuned for more details.
Video and all dates, including an April 19th show at The Hideout, below....
Willis Earl Beal - "Same Old Tears"
Willis Earl Beal - "Take Me Away"
Willis Earl Beal - "Evening's Kiss"
Willis Earl Beal - "Wavering Lines"
WILLIS EARL BEAL - 2012 TOUR DATES
21 FEB - COLE'S BAR - CHICAGO
29 MAR - GLASSLANDS - BROOKLYN%
30 MAR - 930 CLUB - WASHINGTON *
31 MAR - TLA - PHILADELPHIA *
1 APR - MERCURY LOUNGE - NEW YORK
4 APR - PARADISE ROCK CLUB - BOSTON *
6 APR - HOUSE OF BLUES - CLEVELAND *
7 APR - HOUSE OF BLUES - CHICAGO *
8 APR - MAJESTIC - MADISON *
10 APR - FOX THEATRE - BOULDER *
11 APR - BELLY UP - ASPEN *
19 APR - HIDEOUT - CHICAGO
Mon APR 23 - Rock N Roll Hotel Washington DC ^
Tue APR 24 - Union Transfer Philadelphia PA ^
Thu APR 26 - Music Hall Of Williamsburg Brooklyn NY ^
Fri APR 27 - Bowery Ballroom New York NY ^
Sat APR 28 - Brighton Music Hall Boston MA ^
% - w/ Zulu Winter
* - w/ SBTRKT
^ - w/ WU LYF