Line-up /WILLIS EARL BEAL
WILLIS EARL BEAL
After years of toiling in obscurity, Hot Charity/XL Recordings will release Willis Earl Beal’s debut album, Acousmatic Sorcery, on March 19th. The album’s 11 songs are taken from a series of recordings Beal made while living in Albuquerque, New Mexico. After living in the Chicagoland area for his entire life, Beal felt compelled to be near the desert, an idea he had long romanticized. “The desolate atmosphere was always in my head,” Beal says. He arrived in Albuquerque without a plan, a place to live, or enough money to live off of. He lived on the streets while trying to land a job and began singing to help him cope while sleeping rough. He spent days drawing and printing up his flyers, distributing them all over his new city. Eventually Beal found work as the night porter at a motel.
It was during the late-night shifts that the 27-year-old musician from the south side of Chicago found his voice and taught himself to make music. The recordings are a result of what one creative mind could do with a few found instruments and objects; a cassette-based karaoke machine and a $20 microphone. Some how Beal managed to create warm, visceral and moving music seemingly out of nothing, just a little bit of imagination - it’s practically magic done without any fancy gadgetry, hence the name Acousmatic Sorcery. He made dozens of songs using whatever spare instruments and materials he could find in Albuquerque’s flea markets, thrift stores and alleyways; a red electric guitar, forgotten acoustic guitars, a lap harp, a makeshift drum kit created from pots and pans. Beal selected the songs for Acousmatic Sorcery because he feels they offer a look at his development as a musician – creativity vs. ability.
Tickets for this show are priced at £10 and go on sale at 9am on Friday 23rd March.