© 2018 The Grass Roots Cultural and Performing Arts Center

WILL DAILEY

Boston has always been a breeding ground for great musicians, songwriters and performers. Like a lot of big metropolitan cities it had it's run in the late 70's and 80's when it was "the city" that was churning out big artists like The Cars, Aerosmith, J Geils Band and some great bands hovering just under the radar like The Del Fuegos, The Swinging Steaks, the Neighborhoods and a host of others from the great underground scene that was Boston. Time moves forward and other cities have their moments whether it's Austin, TX or Seattle, WA or Milwaukee, WI...it's the way the pendulum of popular music swings. Boston hasn't had a big, international popular music personality since those days of The Cars and Aerosmith but the city still produces some of the best musicians in the world and there are big music personalities always lurking about. Will Dailey is one of them...and maybe one of the best to ever come out of the Hub.

Will Dailey is an 'old soul', a throwback to an era where you don't take yourself too seriously but you take your art VERY seriously. He has a grasp on the mechanisms that make great pop music...big melodies, big hooks, strong lyrics about every day things...catchy songs that get in your head and stay there. That's what makes hit songs. McCartney has it, Billy Joel, Elton John, Springsteen, Madonna...the great songsmiths of the era have that innate ability to craft the songs that people sing in their head or their car or the shower. Will Dailey is also a brilliant performer. He can hold court with 10,000 people or 100 people and make everyone think he's singing to them, speaking to their day, creating their own private moment of release from the outside world. It's the songs that do that. Great songs.

Take the anthemic 'Castle of Pretending' for example. A song about being trapped within the walls of your own head and having to face the inevitable confrontation with your own truth and perceived inadequacy. "...these are not the walls you should be mending. It's a crumbling castle of pretending," he writes. Ask him yourself if he's ever been there, in that moment of self-introspection, and he more than likely has because short is the list of those of us who have not. To put it to music so you can sing it back to yourself and scream that chorus in your own head...well that is the gift Will Dailey gives, and more than likely the curse he lives with. He's a therapist who bares his own soul in his music so you can bear yours.

There were too many moments during this performance that seemed to just take it to a new level. You start to wonder how many levels there are in a Will Dailey performance because they build on one another until your emotion, elation and energy are just drained. One of those moments was a brilliantly arranged cover of Tom Waits' 'Hoist That Rag' with a killer psuedo-punk-latin feel and Clash like call and response between Dailey and keyboard player James Rohr. It lit the place on fire and took a packed house to it's feet.

Spend some time with this performance. Listen to the words and lose yourself in the melodies. This is a collection of great songs performed by a tremendous group of musicians that feel the emotion and spirit of Will Dailey's songs...they are inside his world, on his stage...sharing his soul.

 

THE WILL DAILEY BAND

Will Dailey - guitar, vocals

Steve Fell - guitar, vocals

James Rohr - piano, vocals

Joe McMahon - bass, vocals

Tim Hall - saxophone

Dave Brophy - drums, vocals

Abbie Barrett - vocals

Kate Murdock - vocals
 

The Session Crew

Produced and edited by:
Bill Hurley

Cameras:
Maribeth Arena

Bill Hurley
H. Nat Stevens
Joanne Craig


Audio:
Eric Nordstrom
Connor Quigley

Mixed by:
Connor Quigley

Lighting/Special Effects:
Rick Smith

Stage Production:
Gerry Earabino

Photos:
Dan Busler