Starting to listen to Will Stratton takes us to that awkward moment when we know that someone is really huge but only a small part of the world had already realized the same. Luckily for me, I could attend a house show by this wonderful North-American songwriter, this week in Paris. The event, kindly promoted by the team GoodMorninCaptn, took place in a pretty apartment at Montmartre, in a very quiet and intimate atmosphere.
Will Stratton, a young Californian musician now based in New York, traveled Europe for two months promoting his fourth album, Post-Empire. On this adventure, Will has been accompanied by Paleo, another great artist with a very characteristic voice and a large repertory of songs and concerts, who also came from U.S. to present his own work.
Paleo, with his shoes off, was the responsible for the first musical act of the night. After him, on a very subtle way, Will Stratton just sat on a chair with his guitar and silenced the discrete audience with the amazing “When You Let Your Hair Down to Your Shoulders”. The first song is one of the most important moments of a gig (right?) and Will Stratton did it SO well.
It was really pleasant being sat on a comfy sofa, with nice people by my side and with two cats walking around while a very talent artist was in front of me, singing and explaining some songs, as the one about his great-grandfather (“El Capitan”) or another about his first love (“Loose but Not Broke”). At some moments, Will looked like a kid, fingerpicking his guitar with deep pleasure and making little experiences with his voice, which turned the songs a bit different from the album. My favorite part of this acoustic show was “The Relatively Fair”, a lovely song that made my heart flickered a little when Will closed his eyes while he sang that “I’ve never known you and chances are I never will, but if you hear this, know that I love you still” (yeah, deep and sad songs are always the best ones for me).
The guitar arrangements are genius, the lyrics are very beautiful and well written and besides his musical skills, Will has an amazing beard – hey, you gotta love him!
Here is the setlist of this night:
- When You Let Your Hair Down to Your Shoulders
- El Capitan
- Do You Remember the Morning?
- Loose but not Broke
- No Wonder
- Mercury Id Blues
- All the Table of the Styx
- The Relatively Fair
- If You Wait Long Enough
- (instrumental song)
- (un-finished and un-released song)
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On the next day both artists played again a showcase in one of my favorite places in Paris: the lovely Fabrique Balades Sonores. On this show, Will played more songs of Post-Empire, as the theme that gave the title to the album and the very beautiful “Tell Me, Where do I Begin?”.