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21 Jan 10 Texas Musician Learns What Talent Trust Is All About

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Austin, TX — When self-styled confessional singer-songwriter Elizabeth Wills of Austin takes the stage of La Grange’s The Bugle Boy on Saturday, February 13, for a show of folk-pop cuts from her new album, LOVE COMES HOME, she will be living a new concept in recording: an arrangement between artist and venue based on trust, giving back and paying forward, business, and the future of music and musicians’ careers.
Wills plays a CD Release Show at 8 p.m. on Valentine’s Eve in the intimate listening room called The Bugle Boy, 1051 N. Jefferson St. in La Grange — the venue from which the unique Talent Trust program springs, a program conceived by Bugle Boy founder and executive director Lane Gosnay that invests directly in select artists’ albums. Tickets: 800.838.3006; information: 979.968.9944;

Elizabeth Wills

The Bugle Boys is an intimate 80-seat listening room with theater-style seating for residents of and visitors to the La Grange area, for true live music connoisseurs as well as newcomers to the thrill that comes when artist and audience really connect. It hosts concerts by new and established independent, professional singer-songwriters and developing artists in blues, rock, country, jazz, swing and other Americana genres. Performances are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights, on select Sundays and on occasional Thursday nights. Check Web site for schedule.
Wills is the first participant in the Talent Trust, whereby she received finances for the studio recording from the privately funded non-profit Bugle Boy Foundation and in return pledged to donate back the funding through door receipts from performing regularly at The Bugle Boy in coming years and to mentor the next Trust recipient so that the program — as well as musicians’ creative integrity and the venue’s future show calendar — is nurtured and sustained.
The album by Wills, a winner in the prestigious B.W. Stevenson Songwriting Competition, was produced and engineered by noted Austin music maker Mark Hallman (Carole King, Eliza Gilkyson, Sara Hickman, Ani DiFranco) and recorded at Congress House Studios.
On tracks such as “One by One,” “Favorite Thing” and “Million Angels,” the singer-songwriter “breaks your heart and tugs at your fragile heartstrings, yet exquisitely captures your every emotion … [with] introspective lyrics of wide-eyed honesty, acoustic melodies and an ethereal voice that will haunt you for hours,” according to Sheila Dichoso of Campus Circle. Wills, who plays acoustic guitar and piano, was joined by Michael Lefkowitz on drums and Hallman on electric guitars, bass and organ. Hallman and Sara Hickman, Susan Gibson, Shelley King and Betty Soo added harmony vocals.
The new Elizabeth Wills CD package will also include live recordings from her Oct. 10, 2009, concert at The Bugle Boy. Distribution is by CD Baby.
Before the CD Release Show, Wills will given a Key to the City of La Grange by the Honorable Janet Moerbe, mayor, on Thursday, January 28, after a short performance for the Fayetteville Lions Club at The Bugle Boy.
At 8 p.m. Friday, February 5, Wills plays the Fifth Street Coffee House in Wesley Hall of First United Methodist Church, 800 W. 5th St. in Fort Worth. Information: 817.339.3887.
Wills, born in Fort Worth, wrote her first song on piano at age 6 and began singing in both her church and school choirs. She learned to play the guitar as a teen and by 18 she was playing open-mic nights, coffeehouses and clubs in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma. She recorded her first full-length album at 19 and has released a total of five. LOVE COMES HOME is her sixth. Other accolades include being named Female Vocalist of the Year by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk Competition Finalist.
She’s performed on radio shows from New York to San Diego and showcased at the South By Southwest, Kerrville and Austin City Limits music festivals. Her songs have earned regular airplay on XM Satellite Radio; college radio in the Northeast, West, California and Texas (including Austin’s KUT); and NPR affiliates in Austin, Dallas and Fort Worth. She’s shared stages with Willie Nelson, Dwight Yoakam, Carolyn Wonderland, Ruthie Foster, Sara Hickman, Janis Ian, Patrice Pike and Jimmie Vaughan, among others.
“Elizabeth Wills possesses the perfect intrinsic combination of talent and tenacity,” says The Bugle Boy’s Gosnay. “She is publicly poised to make LOVE COMES HOME a cornerstone in her career as an independent performing singer-songwriter. The Bugle Boy Foundation is proud to be in a position to assist Elizabeth as she continues to move her career forward.”
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