Special to The Record
The website address for singer WiL is www.ibreakstrings.com, which should give you an idea of his passionate live performances.
Sometimes playing an acoustic six-string somewhat like Pete Townshend attacks his electric Gibson, WiL matches that fierceness with fervent singing. He alternates with moments of tenderness that catch your breath in contrast to his intensity.
Born WiL Mimnaugh, based in Calgary for many years, and now living in Qualicum Beach, WiL hits the Comox Rotary Stage on Aug. 19 after what is bound to be a strong set by Cory Woodward in the second of three 2016 Filberg Summer Concerts.
As well as his live performances, WiL’s profile is growing thanks to songs that include There Is, Here We Go, Look Around, Hold Me On and Roam, which became an anthem to Travel Alberta’s award-winning media campaign Remember To Breathe.
His most recent album El Paseo was nominated for Solo Roots Album of the Year at the 2015 Western Canada Music Awards.
He’s got a new album coming out and will take it on the road. After playing Aug. 13 in Nanaimo and Aug. 19 in Comox, he has a date Aug. 26 in Gold River before heading toward Alberta.
To hear him at his best, though, you need to catch WiL live. His live reputation has allowed him to share stages with such respected musicians as Feist, Matt Andersen, Matthew Good and Big Sugar.
WiL used to perform live with drummer Kevin Haughton, a former Comox Valley resident.
WiL’s songs incorporate a broad sampling of styles that include country, rock, folk, blues and pop that blend into his own sound.
He will be especially inspired to deliver a good performance because WiL’s opening act Aug. 19 is Woodward, The Bear of the popular Vancouver Island trio Lion Bear Fox who skillfully opened for the Cowboy Junkies at last year’s Filberg Festival.
The Edmonton-born singer-songwriter, now living in Nanaimo, has his own production company Little Bear Music and he released a CD titled The Bear last year. That followed 2012’s The Truth, an album that featured Carly Rae Jepsen
Woodward “has the uncanny ability to spark a connection between himself and some of the greatest musicians of all time!” raved Exclaim! magazine about The Bear.
After being a featured songwriter at the Vancouver Folk Festival in 2008, Woodward performed across Canada, Europe and the U.S.
Woodward opens Aug. 19 for WiL at 7 p.m. on the Comox Rotary Stage at Filberg Park in Comox. Gates open at 6 p.m. Children 12 and younger are admitted free when accompanied by a ticketed adult.
Headliner Aaron Pritchett follows a talented local band led by Luke Blu Guthrie to close the three-concert series Aug. 25.
For information, including ticket prices, visit bit.ly/2b2g808 or email events@filberg.
Mark Allan is a director for the Filberg Heritage Lodge and Park Association