[The following is from the official press release.]
“From my first days of playing nursing homes and coffee shops, singing ‘You Are My Sunshine’ to children and old folks, to headlining these honky-tonks and venues, we’ve been building a community of folksongs for just about a decade. If you don’t know, these shows are full of good-will, sing-alongs, tear-jerkers, and some of the kindest people you’ll ever meet. If your version of ‘outlaw shit’ is having a couple drinks with your new friends and raising your voices together, I think these shows will be just rough-and-tumble enough for ya. I can’t wait to meet everyone.”
Willi Carlisle is a poet and a folk singer for the people. Like his hero Utah Phillips, Carlisle’s extraordinary gift for turning a phrase isn’t about high falutin’ pontificatin’; it’s about looking out for one another and connecting through our shared human condition.
On his anticipated second album, the magnum opus Peculiar, Missouri, Carlisle makes the case across twelve epic tracks that love truly can conquer all.
Born and raised on the Midwestern plains, Carlisle is a product of the punk to folk music pipeline that’s long fueled frustrated young men looking to resist. After falling for the rich ballads and tunes of the Ozarks where he now lives, he began examining the full spectrum of American musical history. This insatiable stylistic diversity is obvious on Peculiar, Missouri, which was produced by Grammy-winning engineer and Cajun musician Joel Savoy in rural Louisiana.
The songs range from sardonic trucker songs like “Vanlife” to the heartbreaking queer waltz “Life on the Fence.” The album also imbues class consciousness in songs like “Este Mundo,” a cowboy border ballad about water rights, and the title track’s existential talkin’ blues about a surreal panic attack in Walmart’s aisle five.
Though Carlisle’s poetic words evoke the mystical American storytelling of Whitman, Sandburg, and e e cummings, ultimately this is bonafide populist folk music in the tradition of cowboys, frontier fiddlers, and tall-tale tellers. Carlisle recognizes that the only thing holding us back from greatness is each other. With Peculiar, Missouri, he brings us one step closer to breaking down our divides.
Peculiar Spring Tour Dates
2.21 COLUMBIA, MO – ROSE MUSIC HALL
2.22 ST. LOUIS, MO – OFF BROADWAY
2.23 NEWPORT, KY – THE SOUTHGATE HOUSE REVIVAL – SANCTUARY
2.24 INDIANAPOLIS, IN – DUKE’S INDY
2.25 COLUMBUS, OH – RUMBA CAFE
2.27 CLEVELAND, OH – BEACHLAND BALLROOM & TAVERN
2.28 PITTSBURGH, PA – CLUB CAFE
3.1 ROCHESTER, NY – WATER STREET MUSIC HALL
3.2 MANCHESTER, VT – BILLSVILLE HOUSE CONCERT
3.4 NORTHAMPTON, MA – BACK PORCH MUSIC FESTIVAL
3.7 EXETER, NH – THE WOOD BARN
3.8 BROOKLYN, NY – SKINNY DENNIS
3.9 PHILADELPHIA, PA – MILKBOY
3.10 BALTIMORE, MD – THE 8X10
3.11 MORGANTOWN, WV – 123 PLEASANT STREET
3.12 DURHAM, NC – THE PINHOOK
3.13 ASHEVILLE, NC – THE GREY EAGLE
3.15 CHATTANOOGA, TN – CHERRY STREET TAVERN
3.16 KNOXVILLE, TN – BARLEY’S TAP ROOM
3.17 LEXINGTON, KY – THE BURL
3.18 NASHVILLE, TN – THE BASEMENT
3.21 CHICAGO, IL – SLEEPING VILLAGE
3.22 MILWAUKEE, WI – SHANK HALL
3.23 WISCONSIN DELLS, WI – SHOWBOAT SALOON
3.24 MINNEAPOLIS, MN – 7TH ST ENTRY
3.25 DES MOINES, IA – XBK
3.26 DAVENPORT, IA – THE RACCOON MOTEL
Poster Art by Whitney Hayward