Breakin' strings and making' music 

Wil Mimnaugh returns with material from two latest albums to road test on the Whistler crowd


Who : Wil

When : Friday, Jan. 21, 9 p.m.

Where : Dusty's

Cost : $15

Wil Mimnaugh may call Vancouver Island home today, but he's no stranger to our mountain town's music scene. In case you've missed the posters, Wil's upcoming Whistler show is being billed as something of a "homecoming" and it feels like just that for the singer/songwriter.

"I've spent many years playing Whistler, a lot through a friend of mine, Joe Kovacs who owned The Crab Shack," he chuckled during an interview late last week, "So there was definitely a little scene that built, especially in early 2000's."

"There was kind of a locals' New Years that kind of stands out for me, too, which was the New Years that Joe would put on, not on New Year's Eve, when all the locals had to work. Those were pretty awesome, because we always packed that place beyond the legal capacity," he recalled.

"I remember one night, I think I played for three and a half hours, and it wasn't even self-indulgent, it was because we were having so much fun!"

Though he managed to build a loyal little following and fan base here, part of Whistler's charm is that there always seems to be a fresh sea of faces in the crowd, and new people to introduce your music to.

"Being such a transient place, its either tourism or the locals that kind of switch over and change the guard every five years or whatever," said Wil.

"I guess there would have been a time where a lot of locals would have known who I was!

"It was definitely a really cool chapter, musically. It was when I was pulling out more of my stuff, still doing a lot of covers and things, but I was becoming more and more confident with writing songs and conveying them live."

Sadly, the Crab Shack is no longer, but Wil is now set to take the stage at another beloved local hotspot, Dusty's, this week. This is actually Wil's first show of 2011 (he's been busy in the studio, working on a new album).

Wil has been making music essentially his entire life, and if his website name is any indication - - he's pretty tough on his weapon of choice, the acoustic guitar.

"I always play to how people are," said Wil.

"In a theatre, I play much softer and much more dynamically. In a bar, where people are drinking, I play aggressively," he reflected.


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