Sunday Supper Club: Erick Willis & Bobby Duncan

Afallon Presents

Sunday Supper Club: Erick Willis & Bobby Duncan

Sun, March 12, 2017

Doors: 5:00 pm / Show: 6:00 pm

Live Oak Music Hall

Fort Worth, TX

$10.00 - $15.00

This event is all ages

Erick Willis
Erick Willis
In a time when many artists are striving to find their identity, Erick Willis is slowly leaving his mark on the scene, with a personality that is true and not just a stage persona. Taking cues from the music he was raised on Erick is blending soulful melodic lyrics, with the deep groove of roots-rock and as his lyric says, "with some of the harder stuff." Showcasing a smooth voice with an excellent upper register, uniquely gravely at times, and always pleasant to the ear, Erick is bringing lots of soul to the mix, along with undeniably Texas inspired lyrics. 
Getting his start at an early age, Erick has been no stranger to performing. Growing up in Henrietta, Erick spent countless sundays in church with his grandmother learning to love the craft of singing through the choir and holiday cantana specials Erick found his passion for music. Whether it was singing in the choir, traveling to perform in the Texasville Opry, Johhn High's Country Music show, the Texas Gold Country Music Show, or simply talent shows, Erick never lost that drive. One might say Erick was born to perform and entertain and they would be right.
Always one to recognize where he came from, Erick Credits his mother for much of his success. Being a single parent, Erick recognized the hard work and dedication his mother put into raising he and his sisters, and took away a strong work ethic and applied it to his craft. Erick's mother also helped inffluence his musical tastes though her immense love of great hard-rock goups as AC/DC, Whitesnake and Journey. Not only was the rock there, but Erick's grandfather, also a huge influence in his upbringing, introduced him to the golden age of country music.
Through a sold mix of musical styles, and a great supporting cast of family and friends, Erick began to form a genuinely unique ear for music and a solid grasp on life and how to live. As a freshman in high school, Erick took up guitar class and began to learn how to create his own blend of music. It really didn't take long for Erick to realize he had found his calling, and so began his journey as an independent artist. From open mic nights, to talent shows, to late night recordings at a friends home studio, Erick quickly found himself as a performer and not just a guy who could pick out a few cords.
After earning his first spin via Justin Frazell on KFWR 95.9 the Ranch, things began to move even more quickly than he could have imagined. Starting to book more shows and doing a few interviews, Erick know the timing was right to head into the studio. Choosing to go to the prestigious Fort Worth Sound, and work with Bart Rose proved to be a solid success. In the Summer of 2012, Erick released his first album, and EP simply, and directly titled EP SUMMER 12 to critical acclaim. Brandon Myers (music writer with txrdr.com and Red Dirt Blue Collar) said: "Erick Willis is an incredibly talented artist with relatable lyrics and a natural, genuine voice. He is undoubtedly a next level toubador." And the praise didnt stop there, "Erick Willis will be a star. Already a lone star, he has the gift to become a national star." were Justin Frazell's (nationally syndicated host of Texas Red Dirt Roads show) thoughts. Shayne Hollinger (Host of The Side Show on KFWR 95.9 The Ranch) said: "Erick is a fantastic souldful singer-songwriter. This scene needs an artist like Erick. It's time to wake up and pay attention folks."
Never one to let praise or success go to his head, Erick understands where his strengths lie, and knows where he belongs. "I think I've found my home in this Texas scene." said Erick. Standing firmyly on the convictions of making the most of life, and never forgetting where he comes from, Erick is poised to find success at a great level in this business. Though a unique approach to performing and writing, Erick will continue to be apprectiated for many years to come, and be no stranger to the joy that can be found when a melody through six strings meets the power of emotion in true lyrics.
Passion and depth are what makes any good songwriter transition to the next level. Connecting with the audienceis the ultimate key. Erick does that. The raw, heartfelt emotion in his delivery can convince even the harshest of critics.
Bobby Duncan
Bobby Duncan
A career in music is a long process to achieve. It takes years of grueling patience. Years of long nights, in empty rooms, just hoping the handful of by chance attendees are giving you at least half of their undivided attention. As a songwriter, every song is a personal journey. From the instant a melody is born, to the last line of the final verse, a writer gives every part of every moment to the in between.

Bobby Duncan has been living these moments for nearly a decade. With three records produced to date, (2006 “Lonesome Town”, 2009 “Faith, Hope & Everything Else”, 2012 “Forever From Here”) Bobby has sacrificed the possibility of greater life achievements at the altar of the “out-of-the-way” corner stage in countless bars.

Beginning his journey in 2005, with a handful of youthful songs, Duncan began performing at open mic nights around the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. The very green artist he was, Bobby honed his public performances in three song sets, on any given weeknight. It was through these open mic nights, and some patrons who saw potential in young Bobby, that he was introduced to veteran singer/songwriter Walt Wilkins. After a meeting at Wilkins’ Austin area home, Walt, and then producing partner Tim Lorsch, agreed to produce Duncan’s first full-length album, “Lonesome Town”. To say the wheels began turning at a rapid pace would be an understatement. Duncan graduated high school in May of 2005, and production began at the Austin studio of Ray Benson, of Asleep at the Wheel fame, in late September of the same year.

Even with a polished product light years beyond the live recorded acoustic performances Bobby had gathered from many of the open mics, Duncan was still very new to the business of music making. It wasn’t until June of 2006 that, “Lonesome Town”, was released. A few months after the release of his first album, Duncan began to receive airplay on local Dallas/Fort Worth radio stations with his songs, “My Brew and Me”, as well as, “Back Out on the Town”, the latter gained traction throughout the region, and saw much airplay around Texas.

Over the years following his first release, Duncan and Wilkins had developed a much closer relationship, and the two reunited in January of 2009 to produce Bobby’s second studio effort, “Faith, Hope & Everything Else”. While all of the songs from the first release were penned solely by Duncan, the majority of the credits from, “Faith, Hope & Everything Else”, were created by Duncan and new songwriting partner Donovan Dodd. With Duncan’s fresh melodies, and Dodd’s background as an english professor, the two wrote the tracks to Duncan’s most successful record. Three singles were released to Texas radio from the record Duncan and Dodd lovingly call, “F.H.E.”, beginning with, “These Days”. The first single would be the most successful from the album while the following two singles, “Should I Give Anymore of Me”, and “Waiting to Hurt”, would provide solid follow-up airplay that extended the record’s life far beyond that of its predecessor.

Along with his band, Duncan began to see crowds growing all across the state. Nowhere more than his home base of Fort Worth, TX was the success more prevalent. As the crowds began to grow, Bobby drew interest from famed Fort Worth honky tonk Billy Bob’s Texas. Duncan achieved one of his childhood dreams of headlining the World’s Largest Honky Tonk in June of 2009. The success of the first show was unprecedented to Bobby and his band as they drew over 1,500 people. They truly had reached new heights in just a short amount of time since the May 5th release of, “F.H.E.”

As often is the case with songwriters, they begin writing for their next project immediately upon finishing their previous, and the partnership of Duncan and Dodd, was no different. However, they could feel the direction of the songs evolving melodically. When you age in such a public way as songwriting, everyone has the opportunity to pull back the curtains of a young life. Duncan quickly realized that the first sample of songs for his next project would call for a shift in the mindset of how to produce the new record. Searching for a new avenue, and in an attempt to improve as an artist, Duncan parted ways with his band of four years to focus on re-energizing his passion for creating music.

Shortly after switching back to performing acoustically, Duncan met with producer Justin Tockett from Nashville, TN. Tockett had worked with acclaimed songwriter Radney Foster on several of the albums Foster had produced, as well as producing his own records for artists such as Marc Broussard. Tockett and Duncan agreed to a trial production of two songs from the group that would become Duncan’s third studio album. After the first song was tracked, Duncan knew the path he should take, and the pair teamed up to make, “Forever from Here” over 2011 and 2012.

Duncan’s third effort is a much more polished, almost poppy, release. It shines on songs such as the title track, as well as, “Nowhere Left to Run”, and hints at Duncan’s love for artists such as John Mayer, Amos Lee, and Sara Bareilles on the tracks, “Apart We Fall”, and “It’s Hard to be Around You”.

As music has become a profitable business for many non-artists, Duncan released his new product in a much less public fashion. Relying on grass-roots and social media, instead of radio promoters and magazine ads, “Forever from Here”, didn’t generate the critical buzz that his second album did, but it has found a large share of loyal listeners that find the change from a more standard Texas singer/songwriter style, to a much larger sound, refreshing.

2012 and 2013 were big years personally for Bobby as he bought a house in his longtime home base of Fort Worth, TX with his longtime girlfriend, and they eventually married in December of 2013. (The marriage was presided over, in part, by longtime friend Walt Wilkins).

Whatever the future holds in music for Bobby Duncan, we have yet to see. The arduous process of grinding out a musical career continues. But, it is the path less chosen that often reaps the greatest rewards, and one faithful journeyman on that path is Bobby Duncan.
Venue Information:
Live Oak Music Hall
1311 Lipscomb Street
Fort Worth, TX, 76104
http://www.theliveoak.com/