Wilhelm McKay – Indie Folk Rock which is infectious and insightful. The professional and full-time Asheville NC-based group combines the singer/songwriter talents of Chris Wilhelm and Liam McKay with the sonic beauty and skill of cellist Cristof Ensslin. Their sound emphasizes love of a good story delivered in song and employs folk, roots and indie influences. The career of Wilhelm McKay to this point has focused on performing in front of as many audiences as they can as often as possible. The band logged over 100 shows in 2011 and look to increase that number for 2012! They regularly grace the stages of WNC venues and have traveled far and wide including stops in NYC, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Michigan, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Virginia and more. Speaking to musical influences the group shares a strong liking for folk, singer/songwriter and indie music. Chris sites Bright Eyes, Neko Case, Iron & Wine, Monsters of Folk, M. Ward and Andrew Bird as favorite influences. For Liam the list includes Chris Whitley, Glen Hansard, Morrissey, Radiohead and David Bowie. The group also shares a reverence for established music from the likes of Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, and The Beatles and the traditions of folk, country, rock and pop that these artists represent. Chris Wilhelm's accomplishments are many. He has just released his 5th studio album titled Just Asking, recorded with producer Will Bradford (Seepeoples, Free Peoples Frequency) in Asheville NC. His album This Trains Not Going Slow made it to #4 on Emerson College Radio's top 30 in 2006. Chris has received a lot of airplay on college radio. He was featured in a documentary about his music called Faster Than A Fax Machine by Gray Films in 2007. Wilhelm has opened for the Dropkick Murphys in Albany NY. He has also performed at Boston's Club Passim's Campfire Festival. A voracious performer, Chris has toured from Maine to New Orleans and is always ready for more shows. Liam McKay has released 4 albums to date. Three as the singer and principle songwriter in rock bands. His folk album Confessions to a Lover released in 2006 received internet and college radio play and garnered favorable reviews. Liam has shared the stage with several fine acts including Maritime, Mark Dignam, The Midnight Cattle Callers and Anathallo. He has performed extensively throughout Michigan including stops in Toronto and regularly in Chicago. Other highlights for Liam include performing at Mid-West Fest 2008 & 2009, The Sparta Celtic Heritage Festival & Middle of the Mitten Festival in 2010 and the 4th Annual Acoustic & Folk Festival in Bay City MI in January 2011. Cellist for Wilhelm McKay, Cristof Ensslin, has undergone over 10 years of classical Cello education with Hungarian Cello teacher Kalman Dobos in his home town of Esslingen, Germany. He has played in numerous orchestras, chamber music and church ensembles. He has won several prizes in solo youth competitions in his birth country of Germany. Cristof has turned towards meditative ways of playing his Cello to bring out the sacred vibrations of the Cello. He has also recorded cello tracks with several talent projects produced by Lakehouse Music Studios in Asheville, NC. Among them are singer-songwriter Hope Griffin on her debut EP as well as songwriter Kim Smith.
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