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Sat, Dec 08


The Partisan

Willy Tea & Risky Biscuits

Americana | Doors @ 7:30 | $10 @ door

Willy Tea & Risky Biscuits
Willy Tea & Risky Biscuits

Time & Location

Dec 08, 2018, 7:30 PM

The Partisan, 432 West Main Street, Merced, CA, USA

About the Event


From the Sierra Nevada foothills, The Risky Biscuits bring an original mix of heel-kicking stompers and humble ballads, creating an eclectic mix of americana, bluegrass, rock, soul, and country. With members originating from Boston, New Jersey, Tennessee, and California, the Biscuits provide the kind of sound that only develops when backgrounds and styles collide.

That sound is rooted heavily in the meeting of instruments that cross paths, but rarely converge. The Risky Biscuits combine Nate Semprebon on lead vocals and keyboard, Travis Schlafmann on banjo, Kiel Williams on electric guitar, Austin Broder on violin, Andy Merrill on electric bass, and Sky Harris on drums. This blending of the amplified, and the acoustic is half of what makes this band stand out so much. The other half of course, is the music itself. The band aims to cross genres in a way that is progressive, yet fundamentally simple. That being said, you never quite know what you'll get when you see a show. Things can go from psychedelic, to folksy and back in the time it takes to grab a beer. Wouldn't be too "risky" of a band if switching it up wasn't a big part of the formula.


Willy Tea Taylor is a father, brother, and son. His remarkable ability to sing about profound subjects in a simple way makes his songs a great place to lose yourself. Much of that comes from his upbringing.

Willy grew up surrounded by rolling hills and horses in the small town of Oakdale, California. Known as the “Cowboy Capital of the World” for breeding so many world champion rodeo cowboys, Oakdale is still Willy’s home and the setting for many of his songs.

Despite coming from a long line of cattlemen – his grandfather Walt was one of the most respected of his generation – Willy’s first love was baseball. As a catcher, he had a gift for the nuances of calling a game from behind the plate. When a knee injury ended his ability to catch, Willy turned his attention to music.

At the age of 18, a discerning and intimate set by Greg Brown at the Strawberry Music Festival inspired Willy to pursue life as a folk singer. Strawberry would play an integral role in Willy’s development as a musician, going from spectator to stagehand, to performer. He made his main stage debut with his band the Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit at the 2009 festival. In 2015, Willy made his solo debut on the main stage. Willy has charmed fans at some of the best festivals in the country.

Willy calls John Hartford, Roscoe Holcomb, Bob Dylan, KISS, Weird Al Yankovic and Willie Nelson his biggest influences, but is always quick to advocate for his favorite contemporary songwriters which include Tom VandenAvond, Nathan Moore, and his Good Luck partner in crime, Chris Doud. He and VandenAvond have travelled the country together on a series of tours they call “Searchin’ for Guy Clark’s Kitchen” where each evening’s show is just a precursor to an endless quest for the kind of serene late night scene depicted in the cult classic documentary Heartworn Highways.

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