This week’s Country Music’s #CMchat One to Watch is actually fourteen to watch … Nashville-based family, The Willis Clan. America first met The Willis Clan on hit competition show America’s Got Talent, and due to the overwhelming support they received from the masses, their popularity has continued to flourish.
Everyone has heard of the Duggars from 19 Kids and Counting, but what country music failed to realize is we have our very own, albeit smaller, version of the television stars right in our hands. Living in Nashville, Tennessee, the family that consists of two parents and twelve extremely talented children (all of whom have names beginning with “J”). Among the family members are musicians, dancers, athletes, writers, and artists with the ability to blend their Irish roots with their individual capabilities. The twelve children have been recognized on regional and national levels for both music and dance, as well as state levels for dance and athletics.
Because of their hometown roots in Music City, The Willis Clan caught the eye of the Grand Ole Opry and has made a name for itself in the legendary Tennessee venue. The oldest of the Willis children, Jessica, explained:
Our manager at the time had some connections there and got us on the show in 2011, then we didn’t do it again for about a year or so. We really didn’t do a lot of country or bluegrass; we actually started in Irish music, which is kind of related. It wasn’t until the last two years that we became so connected. It’s a variety show and it’s a very amazing place. It’s changed a lot recently to include not only the legends, but also contemporary artists as well. We have had some amazing opportunities there. We got to perform with Little Jimmy Dickens a few times before he passed away. Things like that will blow your mind every single time. We are so glad to be a part of that.
The family will return to the Opry stage on May 12th, but that isn’t all that is on the agenda for the beloved clan. TLC recently introduced the family to its television audience through a reality show, sharing the intricacies of the von Trapp’esque group, as well as premiering a new song, “Fair Weather Love,” which will serve as the theme song to the series. “Fair Weather Love” is a track on The Willis Clan’s forthcoming album Heaven, an offering that is filled with their own styles, even down to the individual instruments each family member plays.
Having recently met Brenda and Jessica Willis at the Music City Irish Festival and speaking to these two lovely ladies for a bit, it brings me great joy to introduce The Willis Clan to those who have not yet “met” them, urge you all to watch their television series, and invite you to preview their new music below.
The Willis Family airs on TLC on Tuesday nights at 10pET/9pCT.