Bob Sumner Album Release w/ Leslie Stevens & Willy Tea Taylor
January 25 @ 8:00 pm - 11:30 pm$12
Willy Tea Taylor
Willy Tea Taylor is a father, brother, and son. His remarkable ability to sing about profound subjects in a simple way makes his songs a great place to lose yourself. Much of that comes from his upbringing.
Willy grew up surrounded by rolling hills and horses in the small town of Oakdale, California. Known as the “Cowboy Capital of the World” for breeding so many world champion rodeo cowboys, Oakdale is still Willy’s home and the setting for many of his songs.
Despite coming from a long line of cattlemen – his grandfather Walt was one of the most respected of his generation – Willy’s first love was baseball. As a catcher, he had a gift for the nuances of calling a game from behind the plate. When a knee injury ended his ability to catch, Willy turned his attention to music.
At the age of 18, a discerning and intimate set by Greg Brown at the Strawberry Music Festival inspired Willy to pursue life as a folk singer. Strawberry would play an integral role in Willy’s development as a musician, going from spectator to stagehand, to performer. He made his main stage debut with his band the Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit at the 2009 festival. In 2015, Willy made his solo debut on the main stage. Willy has charmed fans at some of the best festivals in the country.
On his new release Knuckleball Prime, Willy received support from greats like Benmont Tench (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers), Greg Leisz (Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton), and Gabe Witcher and Noam Pikelny of the Punch Brothers. Of the album’s title, Taylor says “most baseball players peak in their twenties, but knuckleball pitchers tend to blossom in their late thirties and early forties. I’m staring down my knuckleball prime.”
Awarded “Best Country Singer” in the LA Weekly’s 2018 Best Of, you can feel Leslie Stevens’ voice reach the nails in the doorframe. She spins a high craft, with songs about donkeys and drinking and driving in heaven— and just when you thought she might light your living room on fire with a giggle, she’ll blast you through the skylight into outer space. The LA Times calls her “one of the city’s best” and Chris Ziegler (LA Record) explains that Leslie has “the kind of voice you’ll realize you’ve been waiting to hear since forever.” She’s sung on records by Jim James, Father John Misty, Jonathan Wilson, and live with Joe Walsh, Jackson Browne, and John Fogerty, as well as other musicians not beginning with the letter “J.” Brave lyrically and vulnerable in spirit: Leslie never shies away from laying down what’s what, if only to leave a mark on the most golden part of your soul.