The self-titled debut album from Willie and the Giant is a double shot of vintage rock and soul. The retro-minded Nashville band cut these new songs at all-analog studio Welcome to 1979, where an impressive list of legends and contemporaries have recorded before them—Todd Snider and Dave Schools’ Hard Working Americans, The North Mississippi All-Stars, Those Darlins, Jason Isbell, even Animals frontman Eric Burdon.
We wanted that warm, saturated sound that you can only get from tape,” frontman Will Stewart says, ” and Welcome to 1979 specializes in just that. It was cozy, too. Everything there is intentionally stylized to take you four decades back in time.”
“It definitely felt like a special place,” adds six-foot-five lead guitarist Jon Poor (aka The Giant). “From the minute we walked in, we were instantly at ease.”
This positive feel carried over to the sessions, which found the Nashville group’s Alabama roots on prominent display. Both Stewart and Poor were veterans of the Birmingham scene before relocating to Nashville, striking up a friendship and starting Willie and the Giant. For their self-titled debut LP (out April 21 on Cumberland Brothers Music), the band’s two singer-guitarists, plus bassist Grant Prettyman and drummer Mac Kramer were joined in the studio by friend and ‘Bama staple Matt Slocum—who tours with Black Crowes guitarist Rich Robinson—on keys. LISTEN HERE…