After spending five years touring and recording two albums as the lead singer and songwriter of the Austin, Texas band Brothers and Sisters, Will Courtney decided to pack up and move back to Los Angeles…and then to Nashville…and then to a log cabin on some land outside of Austin. He currently lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Will Courtney was born in Nashville, TN to a preacher/poet Father and a Grammy-winning gospel artist Mother. As a child, he sang in Houston’s Post Oak Boy’s Choir and before long was recording songs for children’s records and commercials. When he was old enough to get out of Texas, Will headed to Los Angeles–home to many of his idols–The Beach Boys, Randy Newman, Jon Brion and The Flying Burrito Brothers.
After stints in short-lived bands and some work with cult legends Zander Schloss (The Circle Jerks, Joe Strummer) and Ric Menck (Matthew Sweet, They Tyde), Will grew frustrated when the excesses of the L.A. music scene stymied productivity, so he took off–driving his pickup down to Austin, Texas to start a band with his sister called Brothers and Sisters. Rave reviews of their albums from MOJO, Pitchfork and No Depression helped spread the word and landed their music on several compilation albums and television’s The OC. The ragged sprawl of live appearances (misunderstanding audience members have all-too-frequently compared Brothers and Sisters to a cult) sparked attention. Diverse shows with Spoon, The Black Angels, Jeff Tweedy, Deadman, Okkervil River as well as US and Canadian tours with Trail of Dead and the Blood Brothers quickly made Brothers and Sisters a favorite with Austin crowds.
In 2010, Will decided to take a break from Brothers and Sisters and has spent time living between Nashville and Texas writing music and producing albums for other artists. He also found himself onboard the Railroad Revival Tour train as it traveled across the country, playing music each night on a train car with members of Mumford and Sons, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and Old Crow Medicine Show. In Nashville, he worked as a demo singer for several country songwriters.
During Will’s recent rambles, he spent a year living in a log cabin on six acres in Texas. It was there that he wrote and recorded demos for over 20 songs. He recently finished recording his first solo album at Red Rockets Glare in L.A. with Raymond Richards. With help from his friend Zander Schloss on guitars, guest vocals from The Parson Red Heads and a few other friends, Will entered the studio on a Friday morning in November, recorded his songs and was headed home for Texas four days later. Most vocals and instruments on these recordings were arranged and recorded very quickly. Several songs were recorded live, in one take, and the album was mixed in a few days. Gone is the multi-layered sound of the eight-piece band, as these recordings offer a more introspective and stripped down side of Will’s music.