Quite a bit has transpired in Willis Earl Beal’s fledgling career since we first profiled him in February of 2012.
According to the artist’s Website, he has “voluntarily left” his label (Hot Charity/XL Recordings) and has self-released Experiments In Time: The Golden Hour, a 21-track collection of songs produced over a nine-month period.
Beal states that he “recorded documents of all the emotions and experiences [that he] endured after moving from New York to Washington State” and that, rather cryptically, “The colors go from Gray to White to Blue to Gold and back again to Blue.”
A second, more recent release, the CD-only Noctunes, is being sold at shows and on eBay and two of the tracks, "Flying So Low" and "12 Midnight," will be featured on a limited-run 7-inch record (hand stamped white label copies) currently available for pre-order via Chicago-based blog The Minimal Beat.
In related news, Beal made his big screen debut in Memphis, which was written and directed by Tim Sutton. The film (in which Beal plays a singer “surrounded by lovers, legends, hustlers, preachers, and a wolf pack of kids”) opened in NYC on 5 September, 2014 and played regional cinemas throughout the remainder of the year. It was an official selection at the Sundance Film Festival, the Venice Film Festival and the Miami International Film Festival and was praised by Richard Brody of the New Yorker as a movie that "Captures the mood of the blues with pitch-perfect sensuality."