The venerable Grand Rapids band brought its seven-piece attack to the radio show, which also boasted new tracks by Brian Koenigsknecht, DAYZ, The Crane Wives, Sleeping Timmy, Cousin Avery and more.
For 30-plus years, The Willeys have stayed the course — and that means their Celtic-infused rock and “folkwave” music has remained their trademark, setting them apart from other Grand Rapids bands.
So it’s no surprise that the band led by founder and guitarist Andy Willey would also hold the distinction of headlining One Trick Pony’s annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration for more than a decade, rolling out more than four hours of music to celebrate the holiday for a jam-packed, enthused crowd.
The band — Willey, Jim Saltsman, Christian Olsen, Craig Van Otteren, Tim Foley, Bruce Robey and Pete Lewandoski — will do it all again Saturday night (March 17) at One Trick, firing up their rootsy revelry starting at 6 p.m.
“You would not believe the craziness that happens,” said Willey, noting that his brother, Rick, a devotee of Irish music, helped bring the Celtic element into the band’s approach early on.
“We really like the sound,” added Olsen, noting that the use of an accordion, fiddle and mandolin adds a texture that’s “a little different” than most West Michigan groups.
The Willeys showcased that sound during this week’s edition of Local Spins on WYCE, performing “Fisherman’s Blues” and “Lass of Glenshie” in Studio X at the radio station. Watch the video of their performance of The Waterboys’ “Fisherman’s Blues” here, with the full radio podcast below.
VIDEO: The Willeys, “Fisherman’s Blues” (Local Spins on WYCE)
The band, which has released five albums over the years (including “Found a Way,” which won album of the year honors at the WYCE Jammie Awards several years ago) is working on new material, with hopes of eventually releasing another recording.
The March 16 edition of Local Spins on WYCE also featured new music from Brian Koenigsknecht, The Crane Wives, Dayz, Sleeping Timmy, Cousin Avery, Seth Bernard and In the Valley Below, as well as songs by The Truckstop Cobras (this week’s musicians’ pick by The Willeys) and Heaters. Listen to the podcast here.
PODCAST: Local Spins on WYCE (March 16, 2018)
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