Wil Maring | The Calling

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United States - Illinois

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Country: Bluegrass Country: Country Folk Moods: Type: Acoustic
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The Calling

by Wil Maring

Wil's heartfelt, prizewinning songwriting rests confidently on that fence between bluegrass, folk, country, and pop, with her lilting, airy, yet edgy, emotion-packed vocals supported by virtuoso backup
Genre: Country: Bluegrass
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. The Open Road
3:53 $0.99
2. Back in the Highlife Again
3:45 $0.99
3. Keeper of the Farm
4:23 $0.99
4. Black Snake of the Sky
3:17 $0.99
5. Going Down
3:51 $0.99
6. Make You Smile
2:51 $0.99
7. Window Seat
3:22 $0.99
8. The Rain Came Down
3:08 $0.99
9. The Calling
3:22 $0.99
10. All Gone
2:51 $0.99
11. Real But Not Right
3:27 $0.99
12. Save Me
3:40 $0.99
13. You Leave
3:44 $0.99
14. High Clover
2:50 $0.99
15. Rows
4:08 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
As a teenaged Wil Maring sat for long summer hours at her family’s roadside vegetable stand, picking out selfmade tunes on her Sears guitar to pass the time, she never dreamed of the path she would one day follow. Wil has become a highly respected songwriter, a winner of the prestigious Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at Merlefest, and has appeared on the Grand Ole Opry with her original music, in addition to touring extensively in Europe and Japan . The well-crafted songs, her solid rhythm and fingerstyle guitar work, and her clear, airy, expressive vocals give her music a unique, appealing sound. Added to the contributions of the accomplished musicians with whom she tours, you get a beautiful original acoustic music which straddles the fence between bluegrass, folk, and acoustic country, sometimes containing subtle hints of celtic, oldtime, and even pop music. Her songs paint pictures of the rural southern Illinois landscapes where she grew up, and delve deep into universal human emotions, evoking a nostaglic, introspective melancholy that delivers the listener to a comfortable, hopeful place. Wil’s music is a heartfelt music, not easy to categorize. The songs stand strong by themselves, whether performed as a duo or with Shady Mix, her band. Wil's live performances of original music are spiced with songs from the bluegrass, western, folk and country genres, to form a wide repertoire of acoustic music sure to please almost any audience. Her live show seems to appeal to all age groups, from the toddlers dancing in front of the stage to the seniors requesting the songs their parents used to sing. Increasingly, requests are coming from the originals on the seven Wil Maring /Shady Mix releases to date.
As Dave Higgs, respected host of Nashville Public Radio’s nationally syndicated bluegrass program describes the performance:

"Wil Maring is one of those truly gifted musicians who writes as well as she sings. Her powerful songs have the ability to whisk the listener away to other lands, places and times. They're thought-provoking, compelling and always propelled by the perfect melody. And her gorgeous voice is capable of conveying a myriad of emotions. She can be sweet, playful, soulful and downright bluesy--sometimes all in the same song! Absolutely, hands-down some of the most mesmerizing, exciting, interesting and enjoyable acoustic music I have ever heard. Wil's songs are just in a league of their own, and the picking.... the interplay between (the musicians) is simply astonishing. Not clones -- but an inspired group with a different message. I love it!
With "The Calling" she has established herself as one of the genre's premier songwriters. Her songs are always thoughtful, tastefully arranged, arrestingly executed, melodically interesting and pack a 20-megaton emotional wallop. And, as though that wasn't enough to send everyone into perpetual euphoria, she has developed an original sound as well--propelled by her beautiful, one-of-a-kind voice that is lilting and gorgeous yet tempered with a tough-edginess that makes for a simply exquisite combination. I especially enjoyed the ominous "Black Snake of the Sky," the inspiring "Keeper of the Farm," the hauntingly poetic "Going Down," the introspectful "Window Seat" and the killer cover of "Back in the Highlife Again."

The bluegrass backdrop surprisingly
suits her fragile, delicate voice......
her openness and ability to be in touch
with her feelings are not only uplifting,
but give her finely-crafted songs integrity."
Dirty Linen

"There is a clarity and cleanness
which penetrates, demands
attention and ultimately, lifts
the spirit."
Country Music People,
United Kingdom

"I think Wil is one of the most talented singer/songwriters around… love her music." - Carl Jackson, Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter/producer

"Wil is a talented, sensitive singer and writer, one of those rare individuals who lives her music and makes just the right choices when crafting it. She deserves a bigger audience. " - Tim Stafford, Grammy winner and founder of award-winning band Blue Highway, former member of Alison Krauss and Union Station

Musicians on "The Calling" include
Stuart Duncan: fiddle,
Rob Ickes: resonator guitar,
Dennis Crouch: standup bass,
Robert Bowlin: lead acoustic guitar and fiddle,
Mark Stoffel: mandolin, dobro mandolin, percussion, harmony vocals,
Jeff Taylor: accordion,
Doug Knecht: banjo,
Adam Ploegman: cello,
Uli Jenne: drums
Geoff Maring:standup bass,
Mila Maring: harmony vocals,
Wil Maring:lead vocals, fingerpicked and rhythm guitar



to write a review

Steve Clarke CHES (101.5 FM) Erin Ontario

This has to be one of the best albums of the past year!
I recently connected with Illinois based Wil Maring through myspace and the connection has been an unexpected pleasure with the receipt of a copy of her latest CD, The Calling.

I believe that I’ve found an American treasure; she’s that good, both as a writer and as a performer. Through repeated listenings, I haven’t found a single track that I wouldn’t play on the air; oh, I prefer some tracks over others but this is all good music.

The Calling is a fifteen track effort featuring the guitar work and unique, soothing voice of Ms. Maring, with support from Mark Stoffel (mandolin, dobro mandolin, percussion and vocals) and Robert Bowlin (guitar, tenor guitar and fiddle) plus some other fine players, including Stuart Duncan (fiddle), Rob Ickes (dobro), and Dennis Crouch (bass) as additional special guests.

Wil Maring could be classified as bluegrass or folk but that wouldn’t give you a true picture of her breadth as a writer and performer. What we have here is a case of real Americana – the roots music that has evolved from a fusion of bluegrass, folk and acoustic with the vibrant spirit of the indie scene (although perhaps with fewer piercings and tattoos). This is music from the heartland – and from the heart.

Each song is well crafted with vocals and instrumentation finely tuned, reflecting off each other and blending to become more than the individual parts. From the first track this Album called out to me. Whether singing in Open Road about the hold the road has on a performer’s life, doing an excellent cover of Stevie Winwood’s Back in the High Life Again, or passionately singing about that sense of history and awe felt by anyone who has purchased an older home or farm in Keeper of the Farm, Wil Maring has captured the essence of each theme.

This is an album that anyone even vaguely interested in Americana as a music form must own. Well done Wil Maring, I am officially a fan.

Wil Maring’s CD, The Calling, can be found on Roan Pony Records.

Steve Clarke is the producer/host of Acoustic Planet, broadcast each Thursday from 8 to 10 p.m. on CHES (101.5 FM) in Erin Ontario and on the web at www.erinradio.ca

Steven Springer

A Great Album!
For many of us, I'm sure the way we first heard new music was on the radio. AM in the early '60s -- which is how I first heard about a band from Liverpool -- FM in late '60s and into the '70s.

By the '80s, music videos seemed to be the way to find out about new artists. Here we are now in the 21st century, and the internet has certainly leapt to the forefront in getting the words and music out to the people.

Why do I tell you all this, which you probably already know? Because within the last three weeks I have been introduced to a terrific singer/songwriter by the name of Wil Maring. I have been listening to her latest CD, "The Calling," pretty regularly since I got it a couple of weeks ago. Wil's lyrics are simple, direct and from the heart. When you read the lyrics they are poetry and story-telling all at the same time. The music is joyful, sad, wistful and playful.

All of the songs are brilliant but some of the standouts for me are: The Open Road, Keeper of the Farm, Make You Smile, The Calling, All Gone, You Leave, and Rows. And you must check out her take on Steve Winwood's Back in the High Life Again.

If you want to learn more about Wil, you can visit her MySpace site or her webpage:

Give her a listen. I think you'll like what you hear.


Fifteen years ago Claire Lynch was considered as the « best kept secret in bluegrass music ». The fame came later but from my point of view her albums became less interesting than the ones she had recorded before with the band Front Porch String Band or her own “Friends For A Lifetime”. So I wonder if it is really a good thing to tell you about Wil Maring another best kept secret in bluegrass music (though I already betrayed that secret in placing her album between the 100 best of the period in my book 18 Years of Bluegrass: 1987-2005). You can find the same sweetness, the same fragility in her voice than in Lynch’s but in a less country and more folky way. Wil did write fourteen of the fifteen songs of “The Calling” (dist. CD Baby). She can really be moving on an overdone subject (You Leave). There are allegories (Rows), introspection (The Calling, Window Seat), nostalgia (Keeper Of The Farm, The Open Road). Each listener can understand the lyrics of Going Down in his own way. We can feel that Wil is very close to nature. She writes beautiful melodies. Arrangements are between bluegrass and folk with most musicians already present in her past records. There is little banjo (Doug Knecht, fingerpicking guitar on almost half of the tunes (Wil or Robert Bowlin), some spices of Dobro (Rob Ickes) and accordion (Jeff taylor) with lots of mandolin (Mark Stoffel) and fiddle (Stuart Duncan), all perfectly anchored by the beautiful sound of Dennis Crouch’s bass. Black Snake of the Sky is very original with the Dobro mandolin of Stoffel. Wil sings most of the choruses with her sister Mila. The tones of their voices are so close that you can think Wil sings the harmony herself. Give up about the secret. Listen to Wil Maring and make everybody know.

Dominique FOSSE (translated from the review written in French for LE CRI DU COYOTE – BP 48 – 16170 BUIS LES BARONNIES – FRANCE

Charles Collins

Wil Maring has left her mark on my world!
When you listen to Wil sing the wonderful lyrics of the title song "The Calling" you will learn the full meaning of the title of this review. I recently discovered Wil Maring and Robert Bowlin performing "Window Seat" and some other songs on youtube.com. Then, without hesitation, ordered "The Calling".

I don't need to repeat what others have said here. But, I will say that it all rings true. Great music draws the listener into it, and leaves one wanting more. This is great music.

Thank you Wil and all the others that contributed to this beautiful album.

Peggy Leyva-Conley

"Wil Maring is a dynamic songwriter, guitarist and singer. She has created a homespun quality and sound while performing deep rooted bluegrass music mixed in with the sound of folk. There is clarity and brilliance in her masterpieces. She has a passion in her voice while performing songs dear to her heart such as "Keeper of the Farm". The song is poetic in nature with a down-home feeling. The lyrics contain visions of the past that will take you down an old path leading to a family farm that is filled with history. It is a heartfelt song in its overall interpretation of its presence, and in a land of memory dear to her heart called family. Overall she brings forth great music that will last a lifetime."
Peggy Leyva-Conley, former Editor/Columnist, Delta Snake Blues Magazine San Jose, California

Steve Hawkins

Angel & Guitar
After discovering Wil Maring playing with Brad Davis on youtube, I can not understand why I would listen to Iron Butterfly,Deep Purple, and bla. Wil's voice range covers little girl,grown up, to Angelic sounds. The guitar in Wils hands is (for me) an all powerful muscle relaxer, stress killer. Listen to a few and then buy a whole bunch. Wils music is strict midlling.

Tom Bakken - tommybiker

It doesn't get any better than this!
Wil Maring is one of the finest singer/songwriters you'll find, today. Invited to perform at Kerrville in the New Folk contest, I'm putting my money on her to walk away with top honors. Her music is a cool leamonade on a hot summer's day! Production, instrumentation, vocals and the songwiting is all First Rate. Check out her song samples here and on her MySpace page, then BUY THIS AMAZING CD! And then pick up her others, too! Honestly, it just doesn't get any better than this! Ahhh! Thanks, Wil!