As a teenager Wil Maring sat for long summer hours at her family’s roadside vegetable stand, picking out self-made tunes on her Sears guitar to pass the time. She never dreamed of the path she would one day follow. Wil has become a highly respected songwriter, a winner of the prestigious Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at Merlefest, a Kerrville New Folk Finalist, and has appeared on the Grand Ole Opry with her original music, in addition to touring extensively in Europe and Japan. The well-crafted songs, her solid rhythm and fingerstyle guitarwork, and her clear, airy, expressive vocals give her music a unique, appealing sound. Added to the contributions of the accomplished musicians with whom she tours, you get a beautiful original acoustic music which straddles the fence between bluegrass, folk, and acoustic country, sometimes containing subtle hints of celtic, oldtime, and even pop music. Her songs paint pictures of the rural southern Illinois landscapes where she grew up, and delve deep into universal human emotions, evoking a nostalgic, introspective melancholy that delivers the listener to a comfortable, hopeful place. Wil’s music is a heartfelt music, not easy to categorize. The songs stand strong by themselves, whether performed as a duo or with Shady Mix, her band. Wil's live performances of original music are spiced with songs from the bluegrass, western, folk and country genres, to form a wide repertoire of acoustic music sure to please almost any audience. Her live show seems to appeal to all age groups, from the toddlers dancing in front of the stage to the seniors requesting the songs their parents used to sing. Increasingly, requests are coming from the originals on the six Wil Maring /Shady Mix releases to date.
As Dave Higgs, respected host of Nashville Public Radio’s nationally syndicated bluegrass program describes the performance:
"Wil Maring is one of those truly gifted musicians who writes as well as she sings. Her powerful songs have the ability to whisk the listener away to other lands, places and times. They're thought-provoking, compelling and always propelled by the perfect melody. And her gorgeous voice is capable of conveying a myriad of emotions. She can be sweet, playful, soulful and downright bluesy--sometimes all in the same song! Absolutely, hands-down some of the most mesmerizing, exciting, interesting and enjoyable acoustic music I have ever heard. Wil's songs are just in a league of their own, and the picking.... the interplay between (the musicians) is simply astonishing. Not clones - but an inspired group with a different message. I love it!”