“Local” group brings innovative music to Shoals

by Chief Photographer Melanie Hodges

The band WILLIS is a local group from Florence consisting of five members: Murphy Billings, Trey Murphy, Will O’Steen, Glenn O’Steen and Edward Bernard who each display a laid-back personality while pleasing the ears of their audiences.

Starting in 2015, the band has since built quite the name for themselves throughout the UNA community. Lead singer Murphy Billings described the band as having “dreamy soundscapes and soulful pop melodies combining to make music that feels familiar, while still feeling fresh and modern.” This new spin on a classic style of music has created an unprecedented sound that has captivated the Shoals community.

After their debut release, an EP titled “Locals,” WILLIS has been hard at work recording its second EP “Locals 2.” The process of recording the second EP has been quite the undertaking.

In order to complete its vision, WILLIS engineered a “dream team.” Jamie Sego, Albert Rothstein and Danley Nunley recorded the EP live at Portside Sound Studios in Muscle Shoals.

Grammy award winner Jimmy Nutt is in the process of mixing the EP at Nutthouse Recording Studio with assistance from WILLIS manager Russ Randolph and Nutthouse house editor and engineer Cody Simmons. The band expects to release the new EP in late March.

WILLIS has three upcoming shows, including Feb. 25 at Underground Art and Sound, March 11 at Warehouse 414 and April 22 at 116 E. Mobile. For more updates, visit WILLIS on Twitter and Instagram (@thebandwillis).