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  • Writer's pictureBehind the Song

Wil Van Winkle & the Sixpins

The realm of Americana music is a large and messy place. Nestled comfortably deep within the schizophrenia sits Wil Van Winkle & the Sixpins. From coffee houses to clothing optional resorts, Wil has played them all. Having lived and played on 3 continents, this adopted Texan’s musical styles have taken on different influences over the years and, with the addition of the Sixpins, those influences have become more wide-spread and apparent. The band's style ranges from Rock to Country with noticeable Blues influences, which is even more obvious when delving into their set lists consisting of original material from Wil's solo days, time with the Hardcore Troubadours from Germany, and time with Raindance from Uzbekistan, as well as new material from the band's debut EP, 'The Perpetual Club of Sages, Philosophers, and Other Idle Personages', which takes its name from the Washington Irving folk story Rip Van Winkle. They can currently be seen on tour in Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, with deals in the works to expand into Illinois, Indiana, Georgia, and even Germany. The band consists of: Wil Van Winkle: Vocals, Guitar, Mandolin Jon Baughman: Guitars Allen Atkinson: Bass Butch Bellah: Drums For fans who have never heard your music, can you pick three words to describe it?! If three words just aren't enough then tell us more!!

  1. Fun

  2. Insightful

  3. Story telling

What is your favorite part about being an artist? Is it songwriting, performing, recording, something else?) Tell us why.

Performing is probably my favorite when you have a good crowd that is engaged in what you're doing, if they're just there it's no fun..or I'm doing something wrong. You just don't get that rush anywhere else.

Can you tell us what being in the recording studio is like for you? Having a degree in recording, it's not so nerve wracking because I have the gear and the space so the studio is generally at my house. When I do go into another studio, I'm very strict and watch the clock so we don't end up over budget...come to think of it I might be a bit of a control freak when we're in the home studio too...sorry Jon, Allen, and Butch!

Okay, this a fun question. When you are not doing music, what else do you enjoy doing? Well, there are a few answers to this, but I think travel is most enjoyable to me. My girlfriend and I are always talking about moving into an RV and traveling, plus with ties overseas, that's always a possibility as well. I've lived in 3 countries and 6 states so far so travel is a big thing for me.

Who do you admire most in the music scene today and why? Some of the indie Americana artists, Jason Isbell, Will Hoge, etc, They stick to their principles despite what fans might think.

Can you tell us what song you've written that is the most emotional and describe the meaning behind it? Never Take it all in Stride, it was about my daughter moving out when we lost our apartment due to a tornado and COVID. She was almost 20, but we had planned on her living with me until she was out of college, I just wasn't ready.

Are you working on any new material right now or what's in the works for the upcoming year? Always, always, always. There are always snippits of lyrics or riffs coming up some make it to songs, some don't. Wil Van Winkle & the Sixpins are working on our second EP due out in the fall of 21, and after that, Butch, Jon, and Allen are going to start joining me to make more collaborative efforts in songwriting. Right now, I'll come up with an idea then demo it, send it over, and they'll come up with their parts, in the future I think we'll be doing more group writing sessions. So we've got 21 in production and as soon as that's done we're starting to write for 22's EP.

Tell us where fans can access your music. Website Spotify Facebook



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