singer, songwriter, performer and youth mentor
Austin Willacy, an amazing singer-songwriter, performed for the residents of New Bridge in Berkeley. For the most part, the show consisted of original compositions. He opened with “Ain’t You Fine” and the audience realized right away that they were about to have an evening of some pretty soulful music. He then followed up with a beautiful version of “Open Up Your Heart” and “There’s A Lot Of Love Left”. With the latter song, he asked the audience to participate on the chorus. The room choir was responsible for singing just two words: You-oo-oo and Me-ee-ee. The audience nailed it and seemed to be having fun with the song. Following this, he sang two songs that were my favorites of the night. They were “Crazy” and a beautiful tango called “If You Knew”. Both songs were well received by everyone.Midway in the show, Austin sang Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors”. There were a few older audience members who knew the song and sang along. One woman after the show told me that she was pleasantly surprised that she could remember the lyrics. This song from her past clearly meant something to her.The other cover of the night that Austin sang was an interesting take on a Britney Spears song, “Toxic”. Again, for this piece, he asked for audience participation. The words they were asked to sing were “Duh-Duh-Da-Da-Da” whenever he called for assistance. The audience joyfully participated while he channeled Britney on vocals. There were lots of smiles and laughter.The show ended with “The Path You Walk”. This is a rock and roll piece that speaks about one’s inner voice that is a guide to doing the right thing; very apropos for New Bridge audiences.Austin is a wonderful entertainer who easily connects with his audience. Between songs he told stories about each piece and how they fit in his life. He has long been a member of the House Jacks accapella group. This background has certainly helped develop his beautiful voice, which has a wide range of sound and style.After the show, one of the residents stayed behind to get advice on how he might be able to develop his voice. Austin graciously gave him hints by describing his own development as a young man.As the audience filed out of the room, one young woman shook my hand, smiled, and quietly said, “Very Uplifting”.
You can really F*CKIN’ SING!
…an edgy adult contemporary sound that goes down easily and speaks to the heart.
…reminiscent of Stevie Wonder at his most ‘Superstitious’. Willacy gives it that same ready-to-burst vocal energy.
Your CD is REALLY F(%&@ing GOOD!
…as captivating in live solo performance as he is on CD.
I have been listening to page 7 every day for the past month. I’m totally in love with it!
Culling from a variety of influences, from Stevie Wonder to Lenny Kravitz to Dave Matthews, Willacy’s tasteful acoustic guitar and stunning choir-boy vocals make a winning package.
american pi is full of smart, contemporary rock with a soulful edge…This is mainstream music as it should be—and so often isn’t—making Willacy a talent to watch.
This guy’s gonna be big!
…a fascinating combination: soul singer with grunge underpinnings.
Beautiful, positive music.
american pi is a slice of the music of tomorrow, a blend of acoustic and eccentric words and music, with roots ranging from Stevie Wonder to the alt sensibilities of Kurt Cobain and Tom Waits.
…a strong, artistic, and satisfyingly loud solo debut.
His vocal prowess is a never-ending source of amazement.
page 7 is probably the best CD from a local artist I have received in a year.
Every rhythmic groove works on this excellent folk-rock album. It’s not a dance album, but the propulsive nature of each track can fill a dance floor in two seconds flat. willacy’s soulful vocals recall Seal and Lenny Kravitz, and his lyrics are quite intriguing. The percolating layers of guitar and multiple percussive elements are phenomenal.
Imagine if you will, mixing Stevie Wonder and Jonatha Brooke in some cosmic blender. You would get the soulful, funky, literate, passionate lyrics and music of austin willacy. His band is deeply rhythmic, his arrangements are melodic, somewhat hypnotic and his voice is like a tongue in your ear.
About austin willacy’s last album, I said that ‘american pi’ is a slice of the music of tomorrow.’ Who ever said tomorrow never comes? From ecstasy to eloquence, and at once edgy and elegant, willacy has arrived. Today.
Austin’s songs express an openness and sincerity that few writers achieve. His lyrics and melodies are akin to those of Smokey Robinson for their wit and attention to detail.
copyright © austin willacy. all rights reserved.