S.E.Willis and the Willing are a San Francisco Bay Area based band of long-time professional musicians. The music (predominately originals from Willis) draws on a wide base of American musical forms. Blues is, of course, dominant, but Country, Zydeco, Soul and R&B are major components as well. In a short list, covers may include classics from such artists as Muddy Waters, Hank Williams, Fats Domino, Merle Haggard, Clifton Chenier, Robert Johnson and Ray Charles. This is a band that delivers a solidly entertaining show of music that is executed with superb musicianship while never losing sight of the goal of providing a danceable good time!
The core group (Steve Willis: piano, harmonica, accordion and vocals; Bobby Cochran: drums and vocals; Ruth Davies: bass) came together as the rhythm section for the Elvin Bishop Band, voted 2015 Blues Foundation Blues Band of the Year. Between them they have performed with a long list of roots music stars (Chuck Berry, Bo Diddly, Charles Brown, John Lee Hooker, Edwin Hawkins, James Cotton and many more) and continue to tour widely. Other band members include, from time to time, Nancy Wright (saxophone, vocals); Bob Welsh (guitar); Takezo Takeda (guitar, vocals); Bob Henderson (sax, guitar, vocals); Danny Caron (guitar); and Marina Crouse (vocals).
S.E.Willis: “A commanding singer and keyboardist (piano, organ, and accordion) who delivers classic and original material with conviction and authenticity.” Lee Hildebrand, East Bay Express
S.E.Willis is a piano player, singer, accordionist and harmonica man. Blues, Boogie, Rock, Zydeco, Country are all strong pieces of his musical life.