Wil Van Winkle & the Sixpins
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Wil Van Winkle & the Sixpins

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2016 | SELF

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2016
Band Americana Rock

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Music

Press


"Wil Van Winkle Writes Songs That Are Meant To Be On Repeat On New Album Down The Road"

Opening his new album Down the Road with the song “Won’t Be Coming Home,” Lebanon, Tennessee musician Wil Van Winkle hits his audience with a strong opening track that demonstrates his talent and an aptitude for writing great country songs. After being introduced to music at a young age after watching his grandfather play guitar, Van Winkle has gone on to play at every type of venue imaginable in different parts of the world. While Tennessee is a hard place to make it in as everyone has the same dream, Van Winkle stands out from the rest as tunes such as “Won’t Be Coming Home” stick out immediately, occupying a space in your brain where it won’t go away.

“In This World” is Down the Road’s fifth track and one of the slower songs on the LP. While “In This World” is not as catchy as its processor, it demonstrates Van Winkle’s softer side of his musicianship and songwriting, pulling listeners in so that by the end they want to memorize every word. Closing with “Rainwater,” the songs commercial appeal is noticeable, as it features strings and a blazing guitar riff that makes the song one that you’ll want to listen to many times. Somewhat repetitive, “Rainwater” tends to lose a little bit of appeal mostly due to its monotonous nature, though Van Winkle still proves that he should be an artist to watch as the year starts to come to a close.

Listen to “Won’t Be Coming Home” below. - Listen Here Reviews


"Wil Van Winkle & the Sixpins"

The realm of Americana music is a large and messy place. Nestled comfortably deep within the schizophrenia sits Wil Van Winkle & the Sixpins. - Behind the Song


"10 Question Interviews"

I don't know if he inspired me to write but my grandfather certainly inspired me to play. When I was about 3 or 4 he'd sit out on the porch playing guitar and I'd hold his violin like a guitar and "play" along. I think writing came from frustration when I finally got my first guitar and, not having lessons, couldn't figure out how to play other people's material, so I began writing my own. - Indie Music Interviews


"Live Stream Review"

Frontman Wil Van Winkle’s travel and residency in Germany while playing in a country band, paired with daily monotony and inconsistencies of relationships propelled many of the band’s original songs, like “Won’t Be Coming Home,” “Back in the Day” and “Any Other Way.” Though many of the original songs were given context by a brief introduction by the frontman, the meanings were evident in the superb songwriting. The imagery laid out in songs like “Back in the Day” is on par with any singer-songwriter radio hit due to resonating lyrics that offer a setting for listeners like ‘Backyard baseball with a stain on my shirt, swung as hard as I could for all it was worth,” from “Back in the Day.” - Music Connection


"Street Beat (August 2007)"

Wil Van Winkle put on an impressive show at Ken's Club this past month. Wil performed songs from his CDs, A Change in the Weather and New Beginnings to a more than ecstatic crowd there. His one-man acoustic show is one of the best we've seen in a long time. If you get a chance, check him out.


(Appears with photo, check out my photos to see this as it appeared in the August Issue of Music News.) - Music News


"Street Beat (May 2007)"

International Recording Artist Wil Van Winkle is on the rise here in Houston. He’s doing 2 Acoustic Shows, Saturday May 12th at the Aroma Coffee House 12020 FM 1960 W Ste 800, Thursday, May 31 at Notsuoh, (That’s Houston Spelled Backwards, folks!) @ 314 Main St (CD Release Party!) Read up on him at wilvanwinkle.com, or check out his first CD, A Change in the Weather - Music News


"The Cornerstone by Rocky Stone (May 2007)"

Live recordings are always treacherous, dangerous and often disastrous affairs. Performers brave or foolheartedly enough to attempt them are frequently faced with recordings that showcase their warts and weaknesses in equal or greater measure to their strengths. The new disc New Beginnings: Live from Acoustic Chaos from Wil Van Winkle undertakes this challenge with a set of live recordings from a show at Fitzgerald’s nightclub, and the results are mixed. The sonic mélange of acoustic guitars, bass and percussion does not vary much on the ten tracks presented (continued on page 34) here.
But even within the sonic sameness, some interesting textures and atmospheres emerge from time to time. Like the dusky shimmering texture “Pygmy” which benefits from the relative sparseness of the arrangement.
The two studio tracks which close the disc fare much better. “Lighter Side” with its bedroom sketchpad quality and the sunny and warm sounding “Back in the Day” are enjoyable listening indeed, as are the more promising songs in the live set, such as “It Must Be Love” and “Only Friend” Wil Van Winkle has served up some lively music infused with interesting polyrhythms and his strong and unique voice.
- Music News


"The Cornerstone by Rocky Stone (May 2007)"

Live recordings are always treacherous, dangerous and often disastrous affairs. Performers brave or foolheartedly enough to attempt them are frequently faced with recordings that showcase their warts and weaknesses in equal or greater measure to their strengths. The new disc New Beginnings: Live from Acoustic Chaos from Wil Van Winkle undertakes this challenge with a set of live recordings from a show at Fitzgerald’s nightclub, and the results are mixed. The sonic mélange of acoustic guitars, bass and percussion does not vary much on the ten tracks presented (continued on page 34) here.
But even within the sonic sameness, some interesting textures and atmospheres emerge from time to time. Like the dusky shimmering texture “Pygmy” which benefits from the relative sparseness of the arrangement.
The two studio tracks which close the disc fare much better. “Lighter Side” with its bedroom sketchpad quality and the sunny and warm sounding “Back in the Day” are enjoyable listening indeed, as are the more promising songs in the live set, such as “It Must Be Love” and “Only Friend” Wil Van Winkle has served up some lively music infused with interesting polyrhythms and his strong and unique voice.
- Music News


"Street Beat (April 2007)"

Wil Van Winkle is a name that if you haven't heard yet, you probably "wil" soon. You can catch his acoustic set at Java Jazz in Spring (419 Gentry @ Main St.) on Sat. Apr. 14th starting at 8pm, or at Sweet Mesquite (1570 S. Dairy Ashford) Fri. Apr. 27th from 6-9:30pm. His CD, A Change in the Weather is available at www.wilvanwinkle.com. For booking, contact BS Promotions at www.myspace.com/bs_promo_ent. - Music News


"Tour of Duty"

Houston founded rock band Raindance plans on playing a free concert for troops based in central Asia. These troops were essential in the success of the war on Terrorism in Afghanistan & the band sees this as a way of saying thank you, making the troops feel appreciated, & less isolated due to the fact that many of the bases they are using have been declared off limits due to security concerns.

Raindance plans on playing the first of what they hope to be a series of shows sometime at the end of April. The performances will be entirely sponsored by the band & tentatively will take place inside the compound.

“The idea came about due to our current location, we are only about 4 hours from one of the airstrips used, and about 6 hours from another. It would make sense for us try to play for the soldiers after what they put on the line for us,” says singer/guitarist Wil Van Winkle.

Raindance is also looking into the possibility of putting together a concert/charity auction benefiting the Save the Children Foundation and playing a concert to attempt to bring awareness to the Aral Sea desertification while on their current trek through the region. In the meantime the band plans for a spring release of their latest effort Schmeckt Gut, pronounced shmekt goot the title is German for tastes good. Currently 5 sneak previews are available for listening on mp3.com/raindance and the entire CD should be available in April or May. For more information contact -----------@hotmail.com or drop by www.mp3.com/raindance.
- Indie-Music.com 2003


"Off Beat (2002)"

Houston's Raindance is the latest band to try this time-honored tack, with one significant difference: Instead of London, the band has chosen to jump-start its career in Uzbekistan, a central Asian republic near Afghanistan. There, in the capital city of Tashkent, the band gigs at embassies, private parties, international hotels and for organizations like the Association of Tennis Players. The self-described "Texas Gulf Coast Rock and Rollers" are also hoping to become "the first rock and roll band to play Afghanistan." Raindance is led by Wil Van Winkle, formerly of local bands Bad Influence and The Legend Thereof, and his group is one of only four Uzbekistan-based entrants on MP3.com. - Houston Press


"Letter from Uzbekistan (2001)"

Spoiled meat, fermented mare's milk and a president who says he'd rip off his kid's head -- such is Wil Wuerdig's life as a musician in Central Asia
By John Nova Lomax

By now, the musicians' path out of Houston to what many see as the greener pastures of Austin, Nashville, New York and Los Angeles is well worn. To say that Houston-bred Wil Wuerdig -- the singer-guitarist of the alternative Southern rock band Raindance -- is not on that path is an epic understatement. You see, Wuerdig is basing his career in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Racket and Wuerdig recently fired a few e-mails back and forth about life as a working musician in one of the world's sleepiest and most unfashionable capitals.
And life is, in a word, difficult. Where many American musicians are somewhat spoiled for choice as to which clubs to play, Wuerdig has no such abundance. Nothing in the country is allowed to stay open past midnight. Well, there is one exception…"Of course there's one club open after hours," he writes, "and that just happens to be owned by one of the president's daughters."
Uzbek President Islam Karimov often sounds less like a statesman than like Soprano family lieutenant Paulie Walnuts. In 1999, after alleged religious extremists hijacked a bus, Karimov went ballistic. Agence France-Presse reported this gem: "I'm prepared to rip off the heads of 200 people, to sacrifice their lives, in order to save peace and calm in the republic…If my child chose such a path, I myself would rip off his head." (As his daughter's head remains firmly attached to her body, it's apparent he doesn't view operating a speakeasy as harshly as busnapping. And while we're on the subject of boozy presidential daughters, perhaps Dubya would have more success with Jenna if he threatened her so imaginatively.)

So why is a Houston musician living in a country run by an apparent human guillotine like Karimov? Love and diplomacy. Wuerdig's wife, whose surname he now bears instead of his birth name of Van Winkle, is a German diplomat whom he met at the Last Concert Cafe's annual Watermelon Festival. When Ms. Wuerdig's term was up at the Houston consulate, the German foreign service offered her a choice of reassignment in Karachi, Pakistan, or Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. Since neither of these is considered a plum posting, the Wuerdigs fought to wangle a move to the relative garden spot of Tashkent. After playing a farewell show at Houston's Chameleon Club, Wuerdig shipped out for Uzbekistan on Thanksgiving Day, 2000.

Wuerdig spent the first few months getting acclimated to Uzbekistan. He writes that there are water and power shortages every day. And then there's the phone system…"Last August somebody climbed the telephone pole and stole the cable from our house that connects us to the phone system," Wuerdig writes. "After bribing them about $40 they finally hooked us back up. A month ago the line caught on fire and after a week of arguing they re-connected us but reversed the lines. We had a hooker's number and she had ours."

Uzbek food and drink also took some getting used to. Tony Avitia of I-45 told Racket that his first mission after moving to California was hunting down places to buy Tony Chachere's seasoning salt and Shiner Bock beer. Wuerdig had it a little rougher. In addition to a vodka Wuerdig likens to paint thinner, Uzbeks enjoy tippling on fermented mare's milk. "They milk a horse and put the milk in a bag to help it sour faster," Wuerdig explains. "It ferments and they drink it as if it were champagne. It's elegant and only for special occasions…Got milk?"

Wuerdig credits his wife's vegetarianism with saving him from several bouts of food poisoning. A typical Uzbek grocery is stocked with rotten, dried meat and funky, melted cheese, but also plenty of carrots, onions and potatoes -- staples that made up virtually all of their diet for the first four months of their stay. "When we leave I will never look at those three vegetables again," he vows. "Whenever I'm in the U.S. or Germany I eat as much junk food as humanly possible without having a heart attack."

After getting over the culture shock, Wuerdig set about relaunching Raindance in Tashkent. Prospective bandmates saw him as the rich American. After all, didn't he already have a CD -- the locally produced, independently released Shake It Baby -- on shelves in America? "I was asked for cash to practice, to record, to play live, to learn their music, everything," he writes. "It took me a while to find good musicians that would do it for the love of music."

Eventually, Wuerdig got the band up and running. Their gigs have been almost exclusively at hotels and embassies. Raindance narrowly missed out on a truly historic gig as the first rock band to play in bordering Afghanistan. "We offered to do a free concert for the troops during the war but due to security concerns they declined at the last minute," he writes. "We were literally packing our gear to drive out to - Houston Press


"Pioneer Day"

Wil Van Winkle & The Sixpins recently headlined for our annual Volunteer Fire Department fundraiser festival. They was extremely easy to work with and put on a better show than I could have ever asked for. They brought the Nashville feel to our small town of Henry playing their upbeat originals with some covers. We look forward to having them back in the future!

-Dustin Amburgey
Assistant Cheif, Henry Fire. - Henry County


Discography

2021 The Diedrich Knickerbocker Diaries, volume 1 (EP)

2021 Maggie May (Single - Rod Stewart Cover)

2020 The Perpetual Club of Sages, Philosophers, and other Idle Personages (EP)

2017 Down the Road (LP Solo)

2014 Blame Me (LP Solo)


Photos

Bio

The realm of Americana music is a large and messy place. Nestled comfortably deep within the schizophrenia sits Wil Van Winkle & the Sixpins. The band's style ranges from Rock to Country with noticeable Blues influences, which is even more apparent when delving into their set lists consisting of original material from Wil's solo days, time with the Hardcore Troubadours from Germany, and time with Raindance from Uzbekistan, as well as material from the band's debut EP, 'The Perpetual Club of Sages, Philosophers, and Other Idle Personages', and the follow-up "The Diedrich Knickerbocker Diaries, volume 1" both of which take their names from the Washington Irving folk story "Rip Van Winkle".

The band consists of Wil Van Winkle: Vocals, Guitar, Mandolin; Zach Mears: Guitars; Allen Atkinson: Bass; and Butch Bellah: Drums.


Band Members