Submitted by guitar-list on
Willis may refer to two bands:
1. A garage-punk band from Elmhurst, Illinois
2. Willis is the stage name of Hayley Willis, a female vocalist from London, England and is probably most famous for her cover of Cameo's 80's hit "Word Up", used to great effect in the US television drama 'CSI' and subsequently followed by over 100,000 people on YouTube.
Having grown up in West London on a diet of Elvis Presley,
Hollywood musicals, nursery rhymes and country music, a fortunate
inability to remember other people’s lyrics forced Willis into writing
her own songs.
Though hugely influenced by female American artists like Barbra
Streisand, Ella Fitzgerald and Brenda Lee, she began singing
traditional Irish folk songs before discovering 1970s Americana, via
Neil Young and The Band, during the 90s.
A six year spell working at the eclectic London store, Soul Jazz
Records, belatedly introduced her to the world of dance music and
electronica, and by the mid 2000s she was releasing records via her
own label, Cripple Creek.
After recording 'Come Get Some', an album for 679/Warners, she
returned to running her own label and in autumn 2010 the new
album 'Uncle Treacle' was released via Cripple Creek.
"Nowadays, it's possible to throw a stone over your shoulder and hit any number of self-consciously rootsy female singer-songwriters, but just as there wouldn't have been many as extraordinarily talented as Willis when she emerged seven years ago, it's clear from this that there aren't very many equal to her now."
"...sparse, feral swampy blues, occasionally reminiscent of
the more tender moments of 16 Horsepower...comparisons to
Joni Mitchell , Carole King, Bobby Gentry and, especially,
PJ Harvey would not be unreasonable but they wouldn't tell
the entire story. Willis may well be that rarest of things in a
ridiculously oversubscribed field: something genuinely
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