Passionate and skilled singer/songwriter with years of experience performing in orchestras, bands, and theaters. A talented multi-instrumentalist who has ability to support local and touring acts.. Extensive knowledge of crafting lyrics and roots music. Proficient at guitar, bass, banjo, mandolin, resonator/slide, and piano. Excels in blues, funk, old-timey, folk, and bluegrass.
I work to combines the rawness of blues with the attitude of Southern Rock; the lonesomeness of folk and the movement of funk and soul, to create a palette of songs that steer emotions from bitter tragedy to celebration.
Will Coppage is a native of the Mississippi Delta. His musical journey began at a young age, sitting side-stage while his father performed regionally. Starting on bass, like his father, Coppage grew his guitar chops and performance ability while service in the USAF in Okinawa, Japan. Performing to both US nationals and locals built confidence on stage. Coppage left the Air Force shortly after 9/11 and found himself exploring the music scene in Wilmington, NC.
In NC, Coppage, along with MS Delta-native Ron Etheridge, found regional success in the newly formed touring group, Willie and Me. The band’s roots oriented rock n’ roll caught the attention of film and music producer Geoffrey Hanson, best known for his work with Widespread Panic (Live at Oak Mountain and The Earth Will Swallow You) and as the writer and producer of the cult film Scrapple. By 2006, W&M had shared the stage and festivals with groups such as Widespread Panic, The Avett Brothers, and Umphrey's Mcgee; been recognized by Honest Tune Magazine as Best New Band along with Best New Album; and even appeared in a major motion picture. However, like many things, W&M’s performance schedule ended as members explored different avenues of creativity.
To strengthen his skills as a lyricist, Coppage completed both a BFA and MFA in Creative Writing/Poetry. Along with crafting songs, Coppage took up and became proficient on a number of instruments. Since then, Coppage has headed the project, My Heart Belongs to Buffalo. With a rotating cast of musicians, MHBTB blends soulful songwriting with raw power. Coppage also performs with his wife, Missy, in the duo, Gasoline Letters. Over the years, other performers have utilized of Coppage’s experience and musical dexterity, hiring him for a session musician for the stage or studio.
Most recently, Coppage performs on banjo and square-neck resonator with the Delta String Band, a Mississippi Delta roots ensemble. Coppage also performs solo shows, which are sometimes educational as much as entertaining. The performances are always energetic with one night possibly be all blues while three months later the setlist is comprised of all originals. Coppage crafts songs, but more than that, Coppage crafts stories and nostalgia to ensure you are entertained.
Delta String Band performing original composition, Angry 5, at the 2022 Christmas on Deer Creek festival.
"Don't Miss This"
For the second time this year, Willie and Me is back home for one night of a rockin' good time. Saturday night One Block East will be filled with old friends and acquaintances of Willie and Me's frontmen and founding members William Coppage and Ron Etheridge, both Greenville natives.
It has been almost three months since the group has graced the Delta with its presence, and lot has happened in those 12 weeks. The band has completed a long tour on promoting their first album "Magic Show," and under the new direction of manager Geoff Hanson, the foursome is making heading in the Southeastern jam band scene.
"Willie and Me, Not your ordinary Jam Band"
For those of you who haven't heard, Willie and Me isn't your ordinary jam band. Each member of the four-man outfit brings his unique talent and various influences to the table, making for a sophisticated sound that delights in genre crossing. With a group of musicians from all over the East, the band's distinct sound bears a hint of Northern hip hop, Mississippi road house blues and North Carolina folk influences. Willie and Me combines the soulful attitude of blues with the rawness of Southern Rock, the sentimentality of folk and the vitality of funk and jazz.
"Willie and Me: Home for a Night"
It's hard to imagine anyone considering One Block East their home. But for Willie and Me's frontmen, William Coppage and Ron Etheridge, it is -- musically.
Greenville natives Coppage and Etheridge's journey began just a block away from the levee almost a decade ago as teenagers in seperate bands. In 2002, the duo moved to North Carolina in search of a better musical outlet and will make their first trip back to One Block East Saturday since May 23, 2003.
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