Frontperson singer/songwriter/bassist Amy Marshall aka Wilma hails from Fort Worth. Orphaned at the age of nine, Amy sought solace in learning classical piano and composing her own music. In high school, she sang a cappella competitively. Eventually, she picked up the bass guitar and formed a band with songwriter/guitarist Johnny Marshall. Since then, much recognition has followed. Both Amy and Johnny recently won ASCAP writer's awards for a fourth year in a row. Bass Player Magazine noted how the band's "laid back lines and greasy fills blend perfectly with her soaring vocals" (4/98). Oculus Magazine commented on the band's "exquisite B-52's simplicity" (1/98). While Musician's Exchange calls Amy "one fine front person" (5/98).
Guitarist/songwriter Johnny Marshall began writing and performing music while attending high school on an American Army base in Munich, Germany, where he became a commissioned songwriter. Marshall's music has been called "melodic and memorable" by Musician's Exchange (6/97) with "dynamic arrangements" (Oculus Magazine, 1/98). Circus Magazine said they "still can't get over the guitarist's frantic, exciting lines..." (12/97). Oculus Magazine noted his "undeniably en thusiastic guitar work" (1/98).
Bronx native Paul Lobel, who began playing drums at the age of three, provides the solid beat to round out WILMA's hard rockin' sound, while also providing backing vocals.
In 1993, Amy and Johnny formed the band "Butch" in Dallas, which featured Johnny on lead vocals, Amy on bass and Ric Conlon on drums. After winning a battle of the bands competition at Club DaDa, recording at Planet Dallas Studios, and garnering rave reviews in the Dallas Observer, the band began to gig regularly in Dallas's Deep Ellum music scene, performing at clubs such as Trees, Club Clearview, Galaxy Club, and Bar of Soap. In 1995, the band's song "As Deep As My Soul" was featured in a motion picture soundtrack.
On to New York City
To further their musical career, the band moved to New York City in the summer of 1995. Amy began singing lead and Johnny backup vocals. Since then, along with drummer Paul Lobel, the band has been performing regularly at downtown NYC clubs such as Don Hill's, Continental, Meow Mix and CBGB, while also playing regionally in the northeast and mid-atlantic.
Soon after their arrival in New York, the band met and forged a lasting relationship with an amazing Astoria based Engineer/Producer/Musician, Jerry Halatyn of BeSharp Studios. Jerry's high quality work is unsurpassed, according to the band and major NYC recording studios, despite his being legally blind. He has been recording, engineering, mastering, performing on, and co-producing Wilma recordings since 1997. Visit Jerry's site on his new CD at slau.net.
Wilma's 1998 demo CD received critical acclaim from national press and garnered area commercial and college airplay. The record attracted major labels and sold consistently at shows, and at major store chains such as Virgin Megastore, HMV, and Tower Records in Manhattan. WILMA's 1999 CD, A Piece of Work, was released on the band's self-owned label, Circling Buzzard Records, and is available in NYC at Virgin Megastore, and in select NYC and PA Tower Records. Certain stores gave the CD a listening station. The album received great reviews and sold consistently at shows and stores. The band's Internet presence, including wilmaband.com, continues to grow, with thousands of visitors. CD's are sold online through cdbaby.com.
In addition to owning their own record label, WILMA operate their own publishing company whose catalog includes more than 100 copyrighted songs registered with ASCAP. The band is currently making plans for their third independent CD, "Rock the Box", released in December, 2001.
Check out the artist's website:
1. Live Free or Die
2. Viking Song
4. Don't Break My Heart
5. Fifty Years of RocknRoll
6. What Goes Around
7. Rock the Nation
8. Go for the Gold
9. Back Door Valentine
10. Devil's Bed
12. Rock the Box