Whether it’s haunting blues, straight forward rock, raw garage band noise or psychedelic fusion — Willie Phoenix delivers. Willie’s career has spanned decades and so has his passion; never stopping, never failing to deliver jaw-dropping performances with an undeniable edge.
Born in Camden Alabama, Willie says he entered the world wrapped in a burning southern flag, referencing his love for the blues. Growing up, Willie listened to the greats; they were all there on 78/45 rpm records played on his family’s Magnavox record player. There was Muddy Waters, Lightning Hopkins, Howling Wolf, John Lee Hooker and country greats Hank Williams, Buck Owens and Jerry Reed. Willie remembers thinking that the guitars, harmonicas and voices possessed the same echoing, lonely sound as the midnight train that rumbled past the family’s Marion Ohio home. It was there, in Marion, where Willie grew up, went to school, and cut his teeth on early British invasion blues and rock n’ roll.
Willie has never looked back. He says, “I had a certain knack for writing songs. I started playing guitar, grabbed a few of my mates, formed a band and made a lot of wonderful noise.” Willie has worked clubs and concert halls from Toronto Canada straight to the west coast neon lights of Hollywood. He’s performed with many big name artists, including Muddy Waters, BB King, rock n’ roll’s Ramones and The Talking Heads — just to name just a few.
Willie’s current albums include Captain Psychedelic (October 2015) and Blues My Soul (April 2016); both released through 1978 Records.
When not on the road, Willie’s usually cuttin’ sides in the studio. You can sometimes find Willie and his band performing on hot summer nights at Eldorado’s, Willie’s favorite little underground juke joint in the Graceland district of Columbus – where Willie and the band stay close to their roots.
Willie once told a friend, “Rock n’ roll has saved me from the blues of silence”. Long live rock n’ roll!
Friday, March 17
8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Venue: Brothers Drake / 26 E 5th Ave, Columbus, OH 43201 / (614) 388-8765