‘Nobody knows you’ Blues Standard Cover

This old blues standard is always a fun song for me. I love the picking style during the unplugged spin that Eric Clapton did nearly two decades ago now. Its hard to believe its been 20 years. And I just had a birthday last week so I feel especially old now! Seriously though,  I love entire whole ‘Unplugged’ album.  That album was a turning point for me as a musician. I remember learning ‘Tears in heaven,’ then performing it while singing it at my elementary school. I ended up winning the 4H tournament. I think I was in 6th grade or something. After that, I became so obsessed with that style of picking and sort of created my own version of it and infused it with a blues and folk.  This is my version of Clapton’s version.

The lyrics are great, too! Mostly because I can actually memorize them. I never knew it was such an old song until I heard on some old blues stuff one day. Apparently, it was written way back in 1923 by a guy named, Jimmy cox. Jimmy wrote the song from the perspective of a millionaire during the prohibition era and the ebbs and flows with that kind of lifestyle. After the United States depleted nearly everything to survive the post-effects of World War I,  the country went into a recession, and food rations suddenly went into effect. From the lyrics, Jimmy’s fictional character must have lost more than a higher food ration.  The lyrics always inspired me because in times of need, you learn who your friends are and in most cases ‘nobody knows you.’ I think we have all felt the feelings of being alone and desperate. I added a link here, ‘Nobody knows you’ lyrics, if you want to follow along with the lyrics.  I’m sure I change a few words here and there but the meaning stays the same. Also if you haven’t had the chance hear it, I highly recommend checking out Eric Clapton’s ‘Unplugged’ album.  This is one of my favorite albums of all time. I’m not trying to compare or anything, but I couldn’t leave out the inspiration that brought me where I am now musically. Anyhow, I hope you guys enjoy. It had a great response on Instagram, so I thought I would blog it. So, go follow the Ig and you’ll get to see more cool stuff that I do with photography as well. You can also follow my photography blog as well, JLW Photography.

 

Watch “‘Give it all’ – Original song by Jeffery Willis

As a musician that plays a lot of cover gigs, it’s easy to lose sight of why we do what we do. I have always enjoyed writing music and lyrics as a form of expression. It’s been a constant outlet in my life for many struggles and hardships. ‘Give it all’ is an original song of mine I had put together over the past couple of years. The lyrics are in the youtube description in the video if you’d like to follow along. The song started out as some sort of a ballad that quickly turned slightly political and directed towards those with power. It’s not that I’m against power, I’m voicing my opinion against what is being done with that power. I never thought how relevant this song would end up being to how things are unraveling in our government right now. A lot of people have given so much to literally have it all taken away from them. It makes my heart ache to see our country divided and to see so much hate directed toward minorities in our country. These people are human beings and should be treated like so, whether legally here or not.  Compassion does still exist among some of us. Anyhow, I don’t want to get on a political rant here, so go check out the song.  Follow my blog here, give me a like on facebook, and/or subscribe to my Youtube channel.

I have been shooting most of my videos lately using this super lightweight and portable camera, the Sony HDR-MV1 Music Video Recorder (Black) with Sony 32GB Micro SDHC Card plus Camera Case and Accessory Kit. The audio from this little guy is excellent and the video is def not too shabby as you can see in the video. It works great in almost any environment and does exceptionally well in low light conditions. I picked mine up on amazon and got a nice little bundle of accessories to go with it which work well to get you started. If you are looking for something similar to what I’ve been using it for, follow the link above and it will take you right to it. I’ve also included the link to these Martin MSP7200 SP Lifespan 92/8 Phosphor Bronze Medium Acoustic Guitar Strings
I have found that the tone and playability of these guys last significantly longer than any other strings I have used while agressively playing four nights a week. Go and give those a try. I guarantee you will love them!

Stay tuned for more performances of original songs and more of my favorite covers. If you’d like to hear me cover one of your favorites, leave me a comment and I’ll see what I can come up with.

‘Layla’ Cover

Eric Clapton has been, by far, one of the greatest influences in my music career. His picking style hooked me back when he released the ‘Unplugged’ album. Of course, he is one of the best lead/solo guitarists in the blues genre but this style came a little later on for me. Here is a short clip of Layla, a famous tune by Clapton. I do it in my own version of his style. Hope you guys enjoy!

New Song -“You have got to know”

 Hey guys! I have finally managed to put together an old tune and get it recorded. I wrote this back near the beginning of the century and has always been one of my favorites. I started using some pre-recorded drums from ‘The Loop Loft’ and the results are amazing! I am super impressed by the overall quality. I also just upgraded my laptop to 16 gb of ram to handle the crazy amount of tracks I tend to get into when working on a project. So far so good! I am working on getting some complete downloads up soon and more new tunes are on the way. Hope you guys enjoy!

New Song “Changes”

I’m finally starting to get some recordings down with my new Focusrite interface. This song is a bit of a bluesy tune mostly influenced by the changes that are occurring in my life and the self-actualization progress I am making as an individual. Please take a minute to have a listen. Thanks! Download will be up soon!

“Just like Heaven” The Cure cover

I have been quite busy this year adding new songs to my set lists and even writing lots of new material. Since I grew up in 80’s and always enjoyed some of the cheesy pop/ synth stuff from that era, I thought I’d go back and cover a few of these guys. One of my favorite bands from the 80’s is unarguably, The Cure. I’m not sure what grabs my attention the most from these guys, whether it’s the loud, British accent and slightly off key vocals at times or the classic chorus/ delay guitar sounds. Either way, I can listen to them over and over. Recently, I managed to perform and capture a cover of “Just like heaven”, one of my favorites, on video and thought I’d share. Thanks for watching!

 

Best of 2015 – Thumbtack Pros

This year is going to be an exciting year. Last year I started giving private guitar lessons using the service Thumbtack and had great success throughout the entire year. I was also able to book several private parties for live entertainment. If interested in booking a live performance or setting up guitar lessons, feel free to contact me directly here on the website or take look at some of the Thumbtack reviews.

Click here for all booking inquiries

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Andy C.
113d ago

Jeff was fantastic. Easy to work with, flexible, honest and extremely talented. He played at our rehearsal dinner and everyone comment on the quality of the music. Would hire Jeff again for sure!

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Thumbtack Best Pro of 2015

Tiny Desk Contest Entry 2016

So I have did it again. I submitted a new video for NPR music’s Tiny Desk Contest.   It’s been a rough few weeks as well as the beginning of a new year but things are finally getting back on track and I was to pull it off. Unfortunately with time being limited to get a song recorded and filmed all in one take, then uploaded,  I had risked singing after coming out of a crazy “man-cold”.   We all know how those man-colds are! But seriously, I am bit on the nasally side but overall, I am pleased with the performance.  I am using some new equipment this year: I upgraded interfaces from the Lexicon Lambda to an excellent sounding Focusrite 18i8. I also upgraded to a Lenovo Thinkpad X230 laptop running Pro Tools 10. I have a bunch of cool new plugins I used on this as well. Feel free to hit me up for more details or if you’re interested in sound/ video for a similar type of project.