Though widely used in many contexts, the term one-man band originated from musicians actually playing a number of instruments simultaneously using their hands, feet, limbs, and various mechanical and/or electronic contraptions.
What often comes to mind is the old-school image of a street performer dripping in drums, tambourines, harmonicas, whistles, bells, a guitar and maybe an accordion.
“That’s your dad’s one-man band,” said Phillipe Willems.
Willems, 60, is the modern-day version of this iconic character.
Armed with classic instruments and state-of-the-art technology, the high-energy entertainer uses his musical talent and know-how to produce a multi-instrumental song from scratch entirely on his own.
“Jack of all trades, master of some,” Willems said about himself.
This means taking a song he’s either written himself or is covering and creating an original recording of it by playing each instrument separately and mixing them together in a multi-track studio.
While not an unusual practice in today’s world, Willems takes it a step further by showcasing the juggling act live.
To make this possible, his pre-mixed songs play throughout the performance while he cycles through playing and singing the various parts – similar to karaoke.
“I am all over the place, so it’s pretty crazy,” Willems said.
To see him in action, he’ll be performing in Prescott for the first time at The Windsock Lounge on Saturday, Sept. 2, from 8 p.m. to midnight.