Willis Earl Beal & Opinions on Kings of Leon

Willis Earl Beal performing

Folk-soul balladeer Willis Earl Beal performs live in the studio. Later hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot review the latest from Southern stars Kings of Leon.

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Dance clubs and music venues in Las Vegas have become more popular than ever with one in four casino-goers skipping the poker table for the dance floor. Bigger and brighter laser shows, confetti, and exclusive artist/DJs in residence like Britney Spears, Elton John, Afrojack, and Deadmau5, have helped make Sin City home to 21 of the country’s 100 most profitable nightclubs. Slot machines and prime rib better watch their backs.

Another burgeoning musical destination is of all places…your local library. A new content streaming service called Hoopla is being integrated into public library systems across the country in an effort to give patrons more of what they want. The fledgling Hoopla is still a bit weak in the movie department, but it does boast an impressive collection of music albums. All 300,000 of which are available for only the cost of library card. (Which these days, is thankfully, still free.)

Willis Earl Beal

Willis Earl Beal has had quite a career trajectory. Born in Chicago, he joined the army, only to quit shortly thereafter. He then moved to Albuquerque, NM, where, while homeless and working as a security guard, he started recording music in a very crude way—on a karaoke machine with a microphone. He left CDs of these recordings and flyers around town until they were discovered by Found Magazine. That led to a deal with XL Recordings and two releases, including the most recent, Nobody Knows.

Mechanical Bull Kings of Leon

Mechanical Bull (Deluxe Version)

Kings of Leon, comprised of the Followill brothers and their cousin (also named Followill!), is back with its 6th release called Mechanical Bull. Greg saw a glimmer of originality when the band first came on the scene in the early 2000’s. But, ever since they’ve pushed the boundaries of bombast and stadium rock excess. Jim never thought it was a good idea to mix U2 with Lynyrd Skynrd. And both critics agree the lyrics on Mechanical Bull’s tracks are especially dreadfull. Kings of Leon gets a double Trash It.

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