Willacy to let loose in Coffeehouse

Veronica DeVore

On Sunday, the Student Organization for University Programming will present musician Austin Willacy, a singer/songwriter
from the San Francisco Bay Area. Willacy will perform at 8 p.m. in the Underground Coffeehouse as part of his national tour.
Willacy has recorded a total of seven albums, three solo and four with the The House Jack, with whom he has played over 1,500 shows and toured internationally. He has also performed with the likes of Ray Charles, James Brown, The Temptations, The Pointer Sisters, LL Cool J, and Run-DMC, among many others. His music has been described by the San Francisco Examiner as “an edgy adult contemporary sound that goes down easily and speaks to the heart.”
In addition to his acclaim as a performer,
Willacy has also been recognized for the work he does in the San Francisco community
through his music. He has served as a mentor for many Bay Area high school music programs and also co-produced an album against violence in the wake of the September 11 attacks whose profits went to the American Red Cross.
Interestingly, Willacy also holds a degree in psychology from Dartmouth College. He moved to San Francisco to pursue his music career immediately after graduating. In an interview with Siren Song Magazine, Willacy discussed where he gets his musical inspiration. “I’m inspired by many things as a singer and songwriter,” he said. “I grew up listening to a lot of blues because my dad is a huge blues fan … Though most of the music I write isn’t anything
like the music my dad played for me, I believe the stamp it put on me was a deep appreciation for the way a song grooves. … From a lyrical standpoint, I am often inspired by a simple phrase that a friend says or a passage that I read in a book.”
Willacy’s mellow style should not be taken as simple background music. SOUP member Kat Kaszpurenko said, “His music style reflects a traditional coffeehouse feel,
but his voice is amazing!” Willacy also knows how to work a crowd, as indicated by another portion of his interview with Siren Song. “A live performance is a linear experience,” he said. “It goes by you and you don’t return to it. Because of that, I really try to stay in the moment when I’m performing live and really let loose for the audience.