FOLKSINGER, WRITER, THEATRE-ARTIST
"Carlisle has a poetry in describing songs passed down through generations as a most precious cultural commodity, and a passion and immediacy in performing them. Both down home and brainy, [Willi] is worth seeking out."
Up the Hill
Photos by Ariella Gibson and Matthew Stroud
"an authenticity it takes some
songwriters years to achieve."
-The Idle Class Magazine
"turns the cliche of solo performance on its head" -Cininnati City Beat
of life Americana..."
-Sing Out! Magazine
Willi Carlisle is, according to The Washington Post, "powerful...both down-home and brainy." With years of collecting folklore, playing or calling square dances, and working in the avant-garde, Willi Carlisle is a multi-faceted writer, performer, and instrumentalist.
With a style forged in the fire of Ozark oldtime music and his ever-growing collection of antique music, Carlisle’s musical stories hoot, stomp, and saunter through joys and troubles uniquely southern and timelessly true. Equally comfortable on banjo, accordion, fiddle, and guitar, Carlisle has earned accolades for his versatility with performances in the UK, Canada, and across the USA, appearing with acts like Dom Flemons, Los Texmaniacs, Cory Branan, and more.
While his big frame and expressive voice draw comparison to old balladeers and bluesmen, Willi sings new songs for the oldest reasons: love, heartache, and joy. People who watch and listen will find that he laughs and sheds a tear onstage almost as often as his audiences do, fire- and-brimstone proof of larger-than-life songs and stories.
Photo By: Ariella Gibson