Too Much Love
S.E.Willis and the Willing
From the politically inspired "Crawl Off and Die" to the over-the-top instrumental "Apocalypto", S.E.Willis and the Willing cover a number of classic American musical styles in an all-original mix of Blues, Country, Honky-Tonk and Zydeco.
It was 2015 and we were standing on the stage at the Blues Foundation’s Awards show in Memphis, named as Band of the Year for our work with Elvin Bishop. When my turn came to speak all I could think was: “I love this band!” We aren’t the Elvin Bishop Band anymore, but we still love making music together. There’s a lot of experience here. I’ve been a working musician for 50 years now, much of that time spent in bars in the Southwest, playing rock and roll, country and blues for the local folks. Bobby Cochran’s been at it longer than me, starting in marching bands, drum-line, and the Army band during the Vietnam years. It was the army that brought him from South Carolina to Oakland, CA to join Bobby Freeman backing Carol Doda, the original topless dancer, then the Edwin Hawkins Singers, Cold Blood, Tom Fogerty and many more. Ruth Davies is an Oakland native, born and raised, and an integral part of the Bay Area jazz scene since high school. She was in Charles Brown’s great band through the 80’s and has since worked with John Lee Hooker, Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, and too many others to name here. That’s the core of the band. The others: Nancy Wright, sax and vocals; Danny Caron, guitar; Bob Welsh, guitar; Marina Crouse, vocal; Christoffer "Kid" Andersen, guitars, percussion; Lisa Leuschner, vocals. I wrote all the songs here, with some help from Bobby and our friend Takezo Takeda. Some of the songs are a bit older, from an attempt to write a Honky Tonk musical set in Flagstaff, AZ (Tracks 2, 9,10, 11). The rest, beginning with Crawl Off and Die, are new, and are my attempt to deal with, mostly, love and death. It’s not beer and big-legged women, but it’s got a beat and you can dance to it. Too Much Love. As if there can ever be too much. Steve Willis May 8, 2019