Maui-Born Songwriter Releases New Album
By Christopher Yoakum
Maui-born recording artist Will Weston has emerged at the forefront of a seven-piece indie rock funk band based out of San Francisco. The Hāli‘imaile native released his sophomore album, “Heart of the Order” on Jan. 29, 2015, following the successful debut of his first album in 2012 that catapulted him to some of San Francisco’s top stages.
The songwriter and guitarist leads a septet of diverse but harmonious musical talent ranging from brass and strings to drums and keys. Weston’s dedication to music undoubtedly stems from his upbringing by two accomplished jazz musicians, as well as an early exposure and love for rhythm and blues and guitar-led pop rock. And his dedication shines through the new album.
“Heart of the Order” boasts a dynamic blend of infectious melodies and upbeat rock rhythms, bordering on funk and delving into soul. The song list spans the spectrum of upbeat and hard hitting joy to delicate and somber. The constant cadence and energy of the rhythm section throughout is tight and uncompromising. The bass lines carry, the horns elevate the sense of warmth and immediacy, while the vintage-style keys bring a soulful nostalgia that blends nicely with the contemporary indie-pop vibe. And for six-string lovers, the guitars lead.
Weston’s local influence can be heard in a subtle Pepper-style sway that only the islands can convey. His sophomore release maintains a surprising freshness and variety of sound throughout, avoiding the sometimes dreary interludes that many tracks fall victim to within the compilation’s genre. Like the island he hails from, Weston has crafted something pretty original, along with his understated band mates.
The septet led by Weston includes: Anthony Petrocchi on drums and percussion; Erik Strom, guitars; Cyril Guiraud, tenor sax; Robert Kennedy, keyboards and organ; Brandon Jackson, trumpet and flugelhorn; and Dan Manian on bass and handsaw.