With a voice that conjures names like Ray LaMontagne and Ben Ottewell (Gomez), William Mimnaugh, (stage name wiL) writes songs that push the boundaries of what is considered contemporary folk to include elements of old school country, pop, rock and blues.
Not one for school, wiL's youth consisted of skateboarding and holing himself up listening to music; everything from the country twang of Chet Atkins to the raucous punk sound of The Sex Pistols but It wasn’t until 1998, after hearing the flagrant use of an overdrive pedal on an acoustic guitar in Neutral Milk Hotels ‘In an Aeroplane over the Sea', that he really started refining and defining his sound and playing style, one that would capture the attention of label execs in 2003. Signing to EMI shortly after saw the re-release of his debut album Both Hands launching his career as a songwriter and touring musician yet it wasn’t until the release of an international tourism campaign by Travel Alberta that WiL’s music found a broader audience. His song ‘Roam’ instantly resonated with listeners across the globe and has become a standout signature track both digitally and on stage.
Known for playing mostly with ‘just a drummer’ wiL mesmerizes listeners with his unusual strumming technique while creating lush, fat and full acoustic guitar sounds that have become signature to the live experience’ but it has taken the better part 20 years to get there and he’s still not done. Fastidious. Yes. Meticulous. Yes. A.D.D.?? Probably, but it’s precisely this that has landed him some pretty cool gigs. Standouts include opening for soul legend Mavis Staples, Canadian Indie darling, Feist and one of his music heroes, Ray LaMontagne.
Although the past two years have been tough for musicians and the musical community in general, the time away from playing, for WiL at least, yielded a whole new album's worth of deeply personal material. Never before has he been so invested in making the album of his dreams and so in order to convert the dream to a reality he called on an old musical compatriot, Bryden Baird, whom he met while making the album 'By December' in 2007. The idea, at first, was to see if Bryden may like to lend his skill on the horns to, at least, a few of the new tracks. After a few listens in though, Bryden, was so taken with the new material that he signed on to co-produce the entire album.
Bryden, whose musicality, along with his brother Jessie on drums has been heard the world over on Feist's grammy nominated 'The Reminder' have teamed up on this project as well. The album, tentatively titled 'Gold Mine' is scheduled for release in early 2022.