Will West & The Friendly Strangers
location: Portland, Oregon
style: a fusion of folk, bluegrass, pop, jazz and other wonderful weirdness....
Some of the Story:
Whether they're performing for 1000's at a summer music festival or a handful of listeners at an intimate house concert, Will West and company create a comfortable vibe and energy with their friendly fusion sounds. It's hard to describe this band's style with just a few words. Their shows continue to evolve and change from night to night depending on the band configuration. Will West has just starting getting into the NW Festival Circuit with recent performances at Wildwood Musicfest, Juniper Jam, Pinefest, Brewcamp & Manzanita Music Festival. They've shared the stage with Ryan Montbleau, Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside, Vintage Trouble, The Lumineers, Fruition, Dirty Revival, Scott Pemberton, Cascade Crescendo, Poor Man's Whiskey, The Druthers, Lewi Longmire and many more over the past 8 yrs.
The son of a fiddle player, Will West grew up in rural eastern North Carolina. Inspired by his parent's vast record collection, he began playing guitar when he was 11 years old. First finding a love for Old-Time Blues and Heavy Metal music.
In 2002, he loaded up his guitar, his dog and a handful of original tunes and moved to Portland, Oregon. From his humble beginnings busking on downtown sidewalks and exploring open-mics, Will West has been on a steady rise in this rich Northwest music scene.
He is joined by a collection of stellar musicians called The Friendly Strangers. Together they create a signature blend of Modern Folk, Bluegrass, Pop and Groove elements. Will West & The Friendly Strangers live shows can be wildly different from night to night. They perform in a variety of Trios, Quartets and Big Band line-ups for special events.
They released their latest album "Transitions" (side a) in July 2019.
A collection of songs touching on Rock, Pop, Groove and Big Horn sounds. Featuring a collection of incredible Portland musicians.
"All I Have" was featured as PDX Song of the Week by Vortex Magazine & KINK fm101.9
"Transitions" & "All I Have" are currently playing on PRP 99.1 fm in Portland.
Transitions (side a) by Will West (2019)
Live Vol. 1 by Will West & The Friendly Strangers (2017)
Sunshine by Will West & The Friendly Strangers (2012)
Take this Moment by Will West & The Friendly Strangers (2011)
To Inspire by Will West (2009) *limited press of 400
Shine by Will West (2007)
Tanner Cundy on guitar
Skip vonKuske on cello & mandolin
Don Henson on percussion, xylophone, typewriter and synths
Jeff Simpson on trumpet & keys
Julio Appling on upright bass
Recent guests & alumni include:
Drew Norman on banjo & slide
Chad Kimbler on mandolin
Benjamin Kohen on bass
"The Friendly Strangers are a formidable ensemble, boasting fiddles, banjos and mandolins, all guided by West's casual ringleading."
- Up & Coming! Portland Mercury