Chicago’s Willis Earl Beal has been picked up by XL Recordings’ Hot Charity imprint.  Per the above sketch, immersed in American folk art and Harlem Renaissance ether, I expected something a little more jazzy or bluesy than what followed. After hearing his “Evening’s Kiss,” Beal’s softly sad, underspoken, and minimally-ranging voice felt less about grander statements and more about experiences. His patient storytelling strategy draws one close in because we’re all attracted to that downtempo affect, shyness.  And shy as he might sound or look, Beal clearly has a talent that he is willing to share publicly.  I might give him a call later.

Give a listen to “Evening’s Kiss” here, anticipating the full-length Acousmatic Sorcery sometime soon: