I got a highly felicitous piece of news in my in-box last night and it’s timely information so I rush the information straight to you. The House of Songs proudly present Arkansas folksinger and storyteller Willi Carlisle in an intimate, solo concert on December 19th (this Thursday) at 9:30 pm at The Tank, 312 W 36th St NYC.
As I wrote here, I am a huge fan of Jody’s and as I wrote here and here, I am a huge fan of Willi’s. The thought of these two great soloists working together makes me grin from ear to ear. Both of these artists inspire me a great deal. Actually, I’ll let Jody make the case, as I sign off on her words 100%:
I adore Willi Carlisle and here’s why. Willi is from a home base in Arkansas though he’s perpetually living in the road. He has a masters degree in Poetry, he spent years in the woods with poets and old folk singers, he plays banjo, fiddle, guitar, accordion, and more, the first time I met him he was doing a show in an Antebellum dress talking about modern slavery and bringing down the confederacy, he’s a queer-identifying folk artist/storyteller and this will be a showing songs from his new work about love and bisexuality and folksongs.
Willi is also a coordinator and co-host of the The First Annual Queer and Trans Oldtime Music Gathering, which will occur in Osceola, Wisconsin, in May 2020. Says Carlisle: “As a traditional artist and forward thinking person, I think it’s crucial that folk-music do redemptive and interpretive work along with rural communities, and the Gathering is a big part of that.”
Two other quotes from the release I can get behind: one reviewer called him “an entertaining madman, impossible to look away from” and another said he “turn[s] the cliche of solo performance on their head.” Why am I selling so hard? ‘Cause he’s just performing the one night, cousins! You gotta catch him while he’s in New York — he’s a ramblin’ man. You won’t regret it.
Tickets are $12, available at the door or at: https://thetanknyc.org/calendar-1/willicarlisle