Going to Louisiana
BIO: Cleveland recording artist Willy Earle is a singer and songwriter cut from the same cloth as the early delta blues players. Some of Willy's original recordings include Going to Louisiana, Mississippi Mama, and Blue Highway. Willy performs his compositions on a resonator guitar with a harmonica, borrowing heavily from the tradition of Son House, Charlie Patton and Robert Johnson. Pat Winfield joined 'Lonesome' Willy in 2000 with rhythm guitar, vocals, washtub bass and her own style of bluegrass and folk. This fun, eclectic duo became know as 'Me and Willy'. The two are frequently joined by ad hoc members adding harmonies, congas, bass and more. COOLCLEVELAND.COM REVIEW (5/31/06): Got a jones for that gritty sound from the Mississippi Delta, splashed with a bit of upbeat folk and bluegrass? Then it turns out this week's Cool Cleveland Sounds is just the thing for you. Cleveland-area singer/songwriter 'Lonesome' Willy Earle does a fair amount of gigging about Northeast Ohio. Sometimes he does so with the Willy Earle Band, jogging through a variety of dirty old ditties by the Stones, Animals, Big Brother, etc. Other times you'll find Earle by his, erm... well, by his lonesome, actually. When he's solo, he takes on a bit of everything from Son House and Jimmy Rodgers, to Robert Johnson and Keb Mo'. It's when Earle joins singer/songwriter Pat Winfield to perform under the moniker Me and Willy that the sparks really fly. That's when those ol' devil blues get a healthy dose of Down From the Mountain and Carter Family thrown in for good measure. Winfield adds a lot of that rootsy, Americana flair with her rhythm guitars and washtub bass siding up to Earle's own gritty guitarisms. If you were into the O Brother Where Art Thou? soundtrack, you'll undoubtedly be into this disc. The 12 tracks found on Going to Louisiana are just flat-out fun, from the dobro-harmonica laced 'Rockin' Blues' and stomp box sound of 'Get Down Mama,' to a muddy water n' crawdad jam called 'Mudslide.' Everything sounds relaxed, well-versed and free-flowing; Earle and Winfield make their often-hard-to-capture sound seem effortless and easy. And hey, any duo with back-up singers called the Red Hot Mamas in their corner has to be doing something right. Do right by your own ears and check these two out. You'll love 'em. From Cool Cleveland contributor Peter Chakerian peterATcoolcleveland.com.