Willie DE : Egg Cracked, the Bird Went Wild

Written by Jason Collier

October 4, 2012

On October 5th Batesville, Virginia, musician and singer-songwriter Willie DE will release his first solo album, Egg Cracked, the Bird Went Wild.  A local legend in the Charlottesville area since his early busking days on the downtown mall and at Virginia football games, Willie has metaphorically hatched from his own egg on this record.  He has grown into a fully feathered adult bird, and it shows.

As a student at Western Albemarle High School, Willie fronted an excellent teenage band, The Wave (http://www.honesttune.com/the-wave-high-road-hard-road/). While that band played wonderful gigs at diverse venues (the FloydFest gigs jump out to me as the best), somehow they couldn’t quite shake the stigma of being a high school band.  Egg changes all that.  Just press play and give it a dedicated listen, and you can literally hear Willie shed the confines of his former band.  In fact, the record is a progression of sounds that take the listener on a musical journey from tried-and-true stalwart sounds to new, uncharted territory.

The opening track, “Heaven,” has a classic rock vibe and is reminiscent of the songs Willie played while with The Wave.  It’s a proper album opener with a catchy chorus that propels itself into the flamenco guitar of “My Parade.” From there, we get a straight-up pop gem (and first single with professional music video, available here: http://youtu.be/yDsC4dcZiWg), “Willow,” that carries the beautifully crafted refrain, “And we dance, and we sing, and the blind hand will brush our wings …”

The fourth track, “Shine,” carries a melancholy southern vibe, with excellent harmonies. It is placed on the album perfectly and leads the listener to the title track, which includes a stunning flute solo. “Faces in the Sky (Electric)” picks things up to soaring levels fitting for the wildest of birds. The second half of the album is more introspective, and it sounds much more personal. That’s a good thing.  In particular, “Little Farm” is an excellent example of this sentiment.  And, in spite of the melancholy title, “Moments That We Missed” is upbeat and jangly with a pleasant groove that I’m sure will be jam-worthy when performed live.

When Willie lets the final note ring on album closer, “Faces in the Sky (Acoustic),” one can only wonder where the wild bird will fly next.  It’s a journey I can’t wait to experience.  But for now, he has unleashed on Egg Cracked, the Bird Went Wild , and it is enough to keep me satiated for a long time.  Kudos, Willie DE.

Egg Cracked, the Bird Went Wild is out October 5.