|Member since||May 06, 2007|
|Members||Wil Maring, Robert Bowlin|
|Influences||Nanci Griffith, Mary Chapin Carpenter, folk, Shawn Colvin, Joan Baez, Dar Williams, Lucy Kaplansky, bluegrass, Rhonda Vincent, country, Alison Krauss|
|As Wil Maring sat for long summer hours as a teenager at her family's roadside vegetable stand, picking out self-made tunes on her Sears guitar to pass the time, she never dreamed of the path she would one day follow. Wil has become a highly acclaimed songwriter, a previous winner of the prestigious Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at Merlefest, and has appeared on the Grand Ole Opry with her original music, in addition to touring extensively in Europe and Japan. She honed her songwriting skills playing music professionally in Europe with her group Shady Mix.|
Wil Maring and virtuose guitarist and fiddler Robert Bowlin have been recently combining talents to create beautiful original acoustic music which straddles the fence between bluegrass, folk and country music. Wil’s beautiful airy vocal style and heartfelt lyrics have raised the eyebrows of the acoustic music world in recent years with the release of her three solo cds and four band cds with her band Shady Mix. Robert, a two-time National Fingerpicking and Flatpicking Guitar contest winner, has been a band member with legendary artists like Bill Monroe, Maura O Connell, Kathy Mattea, the Osborne Brothers, and many more. Their music will leave audiences spellbound long after the show is over. For bigger venues, Wil sometimes appears with whole band, Shady Mix, which includes instrumental lineup of upright bass, fiddle, mandolin, and sometimes banjo.
As Dave Higgs, respected host of Nashville Public Radio's nationally syndicated bluegrass program describes the performance: "Absolutely, hands-down some of the most mesmerizing, exciting, interesting and enjoyable acoustic music I have ever heard. Wil's songs are just in a league of their own, and the picking.... the interplay between (the musicians) is simply astonishing. Not clones -- but an inspired group with a different message. I love it!"
WHAT FOLKS ARE SAYING:
"Wil Maring, one of the most underrated writers in bluegrass, returns with a new collection of songs about familiar topics like home, family, the road, and relationships. Her approach is refreshingly intimate and subtle, rendering the songs simultaneously contemporary and timeless, in a way that rewards repeated listening. The singing matches the grace of the songwriting, and her top notch regular band, with great guests like Rob Ickes and Stuart Duncan, couches everything in shimmering, spacious sound. Plus there’s a great cover of a Steve Winwood song – how’s that for contemporary bluegrass?"
- Bruce Bergathon “Acousticity” WGLT, Bloomington, IL
"This is the best stuff I've heard at TAXI since I can't remember when. The songs are beautifully written and memorable, the lyrical imagery is vivid and intense, the level of musicianship is stunning. Oh, and did I forget to mention the singing?! Well, the singing is pretty damn great too. I believe every word. I am forever under the singer's spell. Music of this caliber deserves to be celebrated. Superb. Can't wait to hear more."
- TAXI rep., the biggest independent A and R company
"With "The Calling" she has established herself as one of the genre's premier songwriters. Her songs are always thoughtful, tastefully arranged, arrestingly executed, melodically interesting and pack a 20-megaton emotional wallop. And, as though that wasn't enough to send everyone into perpetual euphoria, she has developed an original sound as well--propelled by her beautiful, one-of-a-kind voice that is lilting and gorgeous yet tempered with a tough-edginess that makes for a simply exquisite combination. I especially enjoyed the ominous "Black Snake of the Sky," the inspiring "Keeper of the Farm," the hauntingly poetic "Going Down," the introspectful "Window Seat" and the killer cover of "Back in the Highlife Again."
- Dave Higgs, syndicated Bluegrass Breakdown, WPLN Nashville, TN
I believe that I’ve found an American treasure; she’s that good, both as a writer and as a performer. Through repeated listenings, I haven’t found a single track that I wouldn’t play on the air....Wil Maring could be classified as bluegrass or folk but that wouldn’t give you a true picture of her breadth as a writer and performer. What we have here is a case of real Americana – the roots music that has evolved from a fusion of bluegrass, folk and acoustic with the vibrant spirit of the indie scene ... This is music from the heartland – and from the heart. Each song is well crafted with vocals and instrumentation finely tuned, reflecting off each other and blending to become more than the individual parts. From the first track this album called out to me. Whether singing in Open Road about the hold the road has on a performer’s life, doing an excellent cover of Stevie Winwood’s Back in the High Life Again, or passionately singing about that sense of history and awe felt by anyone who has purchased an older home or farm in Keeper of the Farm, Wil Maring has captured the essence of each theme. This is an album that anyone even vaguely interested in Americana as a music form must own. Well done Wil Maring, I am officially a fan.
Steve Clarke of Acoustic Planet, CHES-Ontario, www.erinradio.ca
"Wil Maring is a dynamic songwriter, guitarist and singer. She has created a homespun quality and sound while performing deep rooted bluegrass music mixed in with the sound of folk. There is clarity and brilliance in her masterpieces. She has a passion in her voice while performing songs dear to her heart such as "Keeper of the Farm". The song is poetic in nature with a down-home feeling. The lyrics contain visions of the past that will take you down an old path leading to a family farm that is filled with history. It is a heartfelt song in its overall interpretation of its presence, and in a land of memory dear to her heart called family. Overall she brings forth great music that will last a lifetime."
- Peggy Leyva-Conley, former Editor/Columnist, Delta Snake Blues Magazine San Jose, California
"When you are finished reading this review, please, please go to her website and have a listen to her voice. I can’t even begin to describe what it is about it that attracts me so. Is it the easy back-porch alto, the slight twang, the way it just sounds real? Maring’s lovely vocals are surrounded by her Shady Mix bandmates as well as acoustic luminaries such as Stuart Duncan and Rob Ickes. The soft bluegrass arrangements are perfect for the contemporary rural themes of the songs. ......Whether you focus on the heartfelt poetry of the lyrics or the gently intricate playing, Maring and company welcome you to a very genuine place in the country. Essential!"
- Michael Devlin, Music Matters Reviews
"Don’ get much better than this.... Nothing else to add except to urge you buy this excellent album."
- Maverick Country Music Magazine, United Kingdom
"Congratulations, Wil, on another great record! Strong songwriting, excellent production, and stellar players - this one will be getting lots of spins!"
- Bud Johnson, host of syndicated Acoustic Accents, Tok, Alaska
"Wil...Got home from the post office awhile ago, laid down with headphones and listened to your tunes....whew!! I just finished taking it all in. So many different grooves and perfect backup to your lyrics and voice. This project is just plain right, that's all I can say at the moment. You must be proud to be able to produce such an awesome album. Any of the writers we know should be so lucky as to come up with lyrics and melodies like yours! What a great trip your CD is...no kidding! "
- Kevin Lynch, WWUH, West Hartford, CT
Mixture of bluegrass, oldtime, folk, country, and even a little pop. Wide variety of influences, and live show includes a heavy emphasis on originals, but also bluegrass and country standards, fiddle tunes, and cowboy and western swing music. Current favorite artists and influences are wide and varied.... Joni Mitchell, Jimmy Martin, James Taylor, John Hartford, John Prine, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Flatt and Scruggs, Bob Wills, Asleep at the Wheel, Tony Rice, Hot Rize, Dougie MacLean, Kate Rusby, Lyle Lovett, Kim Richey, Patty Griffin, Lucy Kaplansky, Nanci Griffith and so many more... from my youth: Dan Fogelberg, John Denver, Jackson Browne, Eagles, and many bluegrass artists.