Will Dupuy & the Wilderness
featuring the original South Austin Jug Band
Monday, October 11, 2021
Part of the Austin music scene for more than 20 years, singer/songwriter/bass player Will Dupuy brings his new band to light with the November release of Tall Tales From Texas. A long time member of the much loved South Austin Jug Band as well as a sideman to such Texas headliners as Bob Schneider, Bruce Robison, Kelly Willis, and Jason Boland & the Stragglers, and beloved children’s act, AKA Mr. Will, Dupuy brings his best songs and a stellar backup band to a debut overflowing with the sound of traditional Texas country with his own personal little twist.
With producer Brian Beken (Robert Earl Keen, South Austin Jug Band, Milkdrive) by his side, Dupuy lays down nine originals, a co-write with Shawn Nelson (“Devils River”) and Neil Tramell’s “Valentine Texas.” It reflects his lifelong travels throughout Texas as well as making for a perfect new soundtrack to anyone’s quarantine. The whole project took all of seven days at the beginning of 2020, with Dupuy being lucky enough to invite friends, some of Austin’s best players, to join in, including Noah Jeffries, Joe Faulhaber, Trevor Nealon, Geoff Queen, Trevor Smith, Michael Lefkowitz and Josh and Max Baca.
“My idea,” Dupuy explains, “was to put together a list of 20 songs I have written over my 20-year career, and let my friends and family weigh in on which songs they liked the best.” The most recent of those, the sultry “Summer Sunset,” features a lengthy fiddle jam that takes the song to an exciting new place. The sturdy country-rock of “Devils River” feels bright despite its slightly dark underpinnings, and the West Texas boogie “Sanderson” adds to the expansive sensibilities one finds throughout Tall Tales From Texas.
Dupuy sticks to traditional Texas country as well, from the bittersweet opener “Cactus and Caliche,” to the honky-tonk shuffle “City of Blue Lights,” to “Give Me A Ride,” a super tall tale told countrypolitan style. There’s even a touch of Tex-Mex with “La Tampiquena,” a bilingual number about being hungover in the Chihuahuan desert featuring Josh and Max Baca from the multiple Grammy winning band Los Texmaniacs.
Texas-born and bred, Will Dupuy received the music gene from his mother, Virginia; a Grammy-nominated opera singer who currently teaches voice at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. In the late 1990s, Dupuy started at Trinity University in San Antonio where he met Brian Duckworth, fiddle player for the Robert Earl Keen band. Duckworth introduced him to Texas country singer-songwriter Rodney Hayden. Dupuy joined Hayden’s band and never looked back. With the South Austin Jug Band only playing very occasionally of late, Dupuy keeps busy as Mr. Will, a children’s performer with the ability to both educate and entertain, who’s also released 2 compact discs featuring an eclectic mix of fun originals and sprite cover tunes. Dupuy’s new musical endeavor, Will and the Wilderness keep true to his taste for all sorts of American music. While concentrating on his satisfying originals, they mix in songs from Robert Earl Keen, Townes Van Zandt, the Grateful Dead, and a few unexpected surprises. He’s also a member of Fennario Flats, a bluegrass exploration of the Grateful Dead canon with some of Austin’s best biggest Deadheads and best acoustic musicians.
“I set out to make a record that encompassed a lot of the styles and textures that I personally enjoy, and help tell my musical story. I’m darn lucky to have such talented friends that were willing to go on this Tall Tales from Texas journey with me. For this, I am eternally grateful!”