Wil was born to parents who were both musically proficient. On Friday nights he would sit and listen while his parents played and sung along to the old crooners and guitar legends such as Johnny Cash, Chet Atkins and Hank Williams.
By the age of 13 he was seriously refining and defining his playing style unknowingly blending his love of “old school country” with new diverse new influences. After releasing his first studio album, Both Hands, in 2001 Wil began touring relentlessly, earning fan admiration for his intense and thrilling live performances. One review quotes “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.” The album earned him 4 nominations at the 2005 WCMA’s including producer and “entertainer of the Year”.
Wil fully admits he would much rather be on stage than in a recording studio. Having said that, while making his last album, In This Together, in Nashville, Wil felt a breakthrough of sorts. He admits "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. “I don’t hate making records — that’s something I feel the need to clarify after reading a few interviews,” he says. “What I get to learn from the people I make them with is amazing. The act of doing it in a controlled environment — you’re just not performing and that’s something I’ll never be good at. I’ll keep making records but I love performing live.”
Never say never... Wil's new album “Heart of Mine” which contains 9 tracks (written by Wil) was recorded and produced in a small Victoria studio with the help of his drummer, producer/engineer, Jason Cook. Those who have heard it feel it is his best work to date, honest and raw; a studio album yet defiantly capturing the energy of Wils famous live performances.
Wil will always be the consummate touring musician, developing his expansive roots-rock sound and world-weary lyricism while building a dedicated following for his famously intense live shows. Wil has always preferred to play live either solo or with “just a drummer”. He says that freedom allows him to immerse himself onstage utterly and completely. One such performance was written up as “Having so much power and soul it could stop your heart.” Mike Bell, Calgary Sun.