Origin: Kalamazoo, Michigan
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Willamena is a rarity — a nationally-charting genuine indie band. And with its fifth release “The Light Ahead” hitting the streets and the airwaves in January, 2015, Kalamazoo Michigan’s #1 rock act is setting out once again to use its award-winning live show and blue-collar work ethic to prove some old wisdom true: a determined underdog will have his day.
“Way Back When” pays allegience to fellow-Michiganer Bob Seger both in it’s reflective pang for the past and an awareness of living life in the present. The wailing chromatic harmonica break is catharic for the singer in the song, and has the same affect on the listener. Clearly, Lucas Ross is a great rock vocalist, and carries dynamics the way that Fred Neil did, and Rob Thomas and Bono still do.
Before its release, lead-off single “The Other Side of Loneliness” debuted at #5 on the Billboard AAA indicator most-added chart (1/17/15), started at #3 in AAA downloads and streams on radio-servicer PlayMPE.com (1/2/15), and jumped straight onto the FMQB AAA top-200 singles chart at #110 (1/20/15) – all without professional promotion or a publicist.
Willamena has been impressing programmers, critics and fans for years. The band’s 2013 CD “Lost in the Shadows” and its tracks charted nationally in six radio formats: Top 40, Hot AC, Triple A, Active Rock, Americana, and College. At least 180 terrestrial stations in six countries aired something from “Lost…” not counting syndicated-show affiliates that pushed the total well over 300. Several critics predicted the success of “Lost in the Shadows” from the get-go:
“… undeniably infectious rock…” “… the standout tracks… could do some serious damage on U.S. radio in 2013. And that means there are songs on this album you’ll likely be humming in your sleep.” John Sinkevics, Revue Magazine and www.LocalSpins.com