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Event Archive - Best. Acoustic. Guitar. Player. Ever: Wil

Thu. November 18th 2010 Hermann's Jazz Club (All Ages)
8pm - 11:00pm doors at 6pm
$18 Adv. / $20 Door
Tickets at: Lyles Place, Ditch Records & Cds, Onine at
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Hermanns Jazz Club, 753 View St., Victoria
Doors 6:00pm - Show 8:00pm
Tickets: $18 Advance + s/c / $20 Door
Available at: Online at, Lyle's Place 770 Yates St. and Ditch Records 635 Johnson St..

Wil websites: &

You could say Wil Mimnaugh was always destined to be a musician. Born into a musical family, Wil’s mother was always singing along to the coveted record player or belting out duets accompanied by his father on guitar. Songs rhythms were stomped out on the kitchen floor late into the weekend nights. Tunes from the likes of Hank Williams and Simon and Garfunkel were in-house performance staples. "An Evening With John Denver" played on repeat by virtue of being stuck in the 8-track player of the family station wagon. Laughing and loving music as a family, the Mimnaugh’s were in it together.
Before reaching his teens, Wil would try to hammer out songs on his fathers Yamaki acoustic guitar describing it as "awkward"- like "holding a pile of loose lumber in my arms." His Father - also a self-taught player would spend time trying to teach his son how to be comfortable with that pile of lumber. On Christmas morning in 1981, beneath the tree, Wil found his very own Fender acoustic guitar. It would ignite the fire of the singer-songwriter forming inside him.

His early performance career consisted largely of covers. Five nights a week, anywhere in Calgary he could claim a stage, Wil refined the craft of performing and playing live. Starting with his takes on songs from bands like The Verve, Pearl Jam and the Violent Femmes, he soon realized the next logical move was to pen his own tunes. Busting out that very Fender acoustic, Wil set about writing his debut album, Both Hands.

Both Hands was an entirely indie-affair. Born of honest ideas, bound by friends and sold in heaps off the same stages Wil commanded with bee-buzzing guitar strokes. The man works a guitar so hard, it inches toward igniting during a set. Often times, it relents to the strain of such fierce play by popping off a string or two, as if to wave a white flag of surrender if only for a moment, until Wil conducts it back into motion. By way of its own momentum and Wil’s dynamic performances, Both Hands racked up over 6,000 sales off Canadian stages alone. Soon, Wil was running on his tour legs. There was a van, his wife, a drummer and a dog. There were hundreds of shows across the country and experiences of all that goes with touring life; vehicle breakdowns, broken guitars (and strings), busted trailers and break-ins. Thousands of miles of experience were clocked on the Wil performance odometer.

"Best. Acoustic. Guitar. Player. Ever." Raved Chartattack in a 2008 CMW live review. "No joke — this man is gifted. He was doing things with his hands that most people wouldn't be able to pull off after a lifetime of practice. He can perfectly tune a guitar to any configuration in less than 10 seconds. He can make that one instrument sound like an entire band."

The Both Hands album connected Wil to a major label deal with EMI. The label took on distribution for the record and signed on to make another - By December (Dave MacKinnon of The Fembots produced). These records kept the doors and roads open for more touring and offered shared stages with artists such as Matthew Good, Gomez, Serena Ryder and state side theater dates with Feist.

Last year, it came time to think about making a new record. Major label downsizing cut Wil free to return to what he truly and honestly connected to - his valued management team, close friends, like writing partner, Jeff Leitl and his ultimate friend of 22 years, his partner and wife, Caroline. They "hunkered down" in their cabin in the woods and Wil wrote the most honest, heartfelt and optimistic record to date, aptly called, In This Together.
In the summer of 2009 Wil and In This Together album producer, Bruce Leitl (Jann Arden, Wil’s debut, Both Hands) moved the songs from the cabin to refine the intimate tracks at Audities Studios in Calgary, Alberta. From there, on to Quad Studios in Nashville, Tennessee to see some of the songs more fully realized and lushly accompanied by top notch studio players.

"Nashville yielded some incredible performances by some incredible people. Bruce and I had agreed that letting the performers be free with the songs was the best approach as opposed to giving them a specific map that could not be wavered from," Wil said.

The end result is an album that embraces the full spectrum of sound and standout tracks like, "UhOh", "Together" and "Baby Baby". On this record, Wil has moved away from the heavier side of life and love while retaining his very direct lyrical and vocal style. He has made every effort to let the songs drive the arrangements and instrumentation without trying to appease or work to a specific genre, audience or market. The lilting "If You Want Me, Too" written in an evening with friend Shaun Verreault feels heavy in subject matter, but light and positive in its execution.

In This Together is an album of personal stories connecting life, love and Wil’s ongoing relationship with music. After more then 10 years of touring, Wil has returned to some of the core themes that brought his debut album Both Hands into being. He is, however, taking a definite step forward in his growth as a songwriter, singer and musician. Transitioning from the darker imagery and tones of his second album, By December, Wil has found in his third album, a lighter stride.

"This year has been amazing for me in that I discovered news ways to open up my mind and heart to experiences which allowed the writing and collaboration process to flourish. As well, I concentrated on finding new ways of improving as a live performer and song writer," reflected Wil. "The result is that I find myself content with a mastered record, ready artwork and the stirring excitement of knowing I am about to soon share these songs. Having chosen this love as a career has come with a great deal of hardship - unlike anything else in life I’ve known - but I have also felt a lifetime of gratification already. I never took this on for great fame and fortune. I simply feel I have no other choice as I have found my passion and cannot ignore it. I have the love, understanding and infinite support of friends and family. I am a very lucky man."


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Wil (Roots Rock)

WiL's music is gaining recognition from a string of songs, including ‘Roam,’ flagship anthem to Travel Alberta’s award winning media campaign ‘Remember To Breathe’. His latest album 'El Paseo' was nominated 'Solo Roots Album of The Year' at 2015 Western Canadian Music Awards - No wonder.... the ease with which WiL explores a wide spectrum... more info
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