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Newly independent Boston-based Will Dailey has won three Boston Music Awards in the past decade and was just recently nominated for Best Male Performer in New England by New England Music Awards. Dailey genuinely values the life his city has given him. He says, “Boston means a lot to me. I choose to stay here. I grew up here and live here. I toured the country and came back home here. It’s kind of where I get my fuel, so the occasional pat on the back from Boston means a lot.”
Dailey opened his Live Music Week set with a new song called “Sunken Ship,” that features a simple electric guitar melody that truly allows his voice to soar. The song highlights his vocal talent and passion for songwriting as well as his charmingly bluesy quality. By the song’s end, “Sunken Ship” proves criminally catchy, wrapping you in each chorus.
For his second song, Dailey invited Air Traffic Controller’s Casey Sullivan and Dave Munro to sing with him on another new track, “We Will Always Be A Band.” The song resonates with a Tallest Man On Earth reminiscent ease. Dailey conveys his emotion directly to you, no abstractions or illusions, just honesty. As Sullivan and Munro joined in singing the first chorus, “we will always be a band,” Dailey began to smile. “It was a perfect opportunity to drag them in,” Dailey said later. “[We Will Always Be A Band] is new and I’ve been playing it live while we’ve been recording and never does it not end up as a giant sing-a-long at the end… My goal is always to play with the people I love – whether it’s Neil Young at Farm Aid (an annual benefit concert for small family farmers by an agricultural awareness organization) or Air Traffic Controller.”
Dailey is getting ready to release his newest album with PledgeMusic, a website that asks fans to donate to help artists release independently produced albums, rather than working under a major record labels to put out music. Dailey believes his past with Universal Republic Records was the worst business experience he ever had. “I did my best to get off it as soon as I could,” he says, “I just wanted to make an album with my fans who believe that you don’t need a giant skyscraper and an office to make music.” Since January when he first publicized his PledgeMusic motion, he has raised 102% of his goal. “Ten percent of whatever is raised is donated to Farm Aid, and then everything we keep helps us make a bigger, better record,” Dailey states.
Although he is waiting to release the record title until he gets 650 pledges, Dailey promises good things to come. “The record [is] about making art at all costs,” he says. “No matter who tells you no, no matter who tells you yes, no matter how many pats on the back or kicks in the gut you get – when you decide to make art in your life, you just do it no matter what. That’s what this new album is about.” The record is on track to be released in full at the beginning of September.
Dailey finished in-studio with yet another lovely unreleased single, “Rescue.” Amid the simple electric guitar ease portrayed in the first two songs, this track also boasts a tantalizingly subtle groove. Without a doubt, Dailey writes real rock – the kind of music that feels good in your bones, and feels like it belongs there.
Genuine expression and connectivity are incredibly important to Will Dailey as a musician. “Music connects people,” he says. “Sometimes nowadays, despite how connected we think we are, we’re often not.” He largely blames this on the destructive obsession of cell phones.
More than anything, Dailey tries “to stay in the moment [during shows] and not to think of the second after or the second before – just stay in the song. It’s a constant roller coaster in the course of a show to give every song its due, to hit all its marks – its emotional marks, its technical marks – I love that challenge every night.”