BLOOMSBURG — Anchoring both ends of the emotion spectrum, intense and laid back are not typically used together to describe a musical experience, unless the music being experienced is from Will McCranie.
Tonight, the New York City-based musician will travel the highways and byways to Bloomsburg for a performance that not only encompasses a wide range of feelings, but also a myriad of musical styles.
“I pull from a huge range of influences but my music is a blend of my southern roots with soul and jazz. I’m a big fan of improvisation, so I do my best to mix things up to keep it fresh for myself and the fans,” McCranie said. “Someone once told me my music was simultaneously one of the most intense and laid back performance they’d ever seen. I like to think that’s pretty close to the truth.”
With guitar in hand and a voice both distinct yet reminiscent of a vinyl recording of a well-worn blues record, McCranie brings to life music about life, its triumphs and tragedies with an effortless manor that comes from many years of playing any and every venue he could find, no matter how difficult or discouraging it might have been.
“When I was starting out in my hometown, I was told I’d never play a pizza restaurant or bar again. A few years later, also in my hometown, I was opening for the Goo Goo Dolls and Colbie Caillat on a huge festival-sized stage,” he said. “Funny how things play out if you love something, keep at it and you’ll figure it out.”
And that’s just what this young musician did, crediting his greatest success as being able to pay his over- inflated rent in New York City while being a full time musician. Not bad for a musician who accidentally Super Glued his lips together as a kid.
Playing a mixed bag of covers and original music, McCranie has a tendency to dabble in a wide range of musical instruments, including the drums, and is often known to perform cover songs the crowd will quickly recognize along with covers people don’t expect from an acoustic act.
His latest single, “Ain’t That Strange,” showcases his songwriting skills and the emotion he puts into each note. The song tells the story of the possibility and timing of love, or as McCraine describes the meaning of the song, it’s a “pretty simple story.
“Not being the most popular of kids, there are girls you almost had. You part ways for a few years, start playing some shows, get a little more recognition, run into those girls, hit it off and Yahtzee! It’s about the idea of what a difference a year or two makes in terms of perception and relationships.”
And those years have treated him well both as a musician and a song writer.
“As far as my music, I can promise you some honest songs, without taking myself too seriously — or seriously at all, for that matter — and some good fun in the way of sing-a-longs,” he said. “Music just makes sense to me more than anything else. I love writing. I love performing. I love the people I meet along the way.”