When heartbreak comes calling, a talented few turn the pain into a creative outlet.
That’s how The Calling, a new CD by independent artist Wil Maring, was born.
After 17 years of musical collaborations with her then-husband Mark Stoffel, the two decided their marriage and professional partnership was at an end. So Maring, determined to soldier on musically, rallied her soon-to-be-ex and past band mates from “Shady Mix” to come together one more time to record this CD.
The result is beautifully crafted, introspective folk/country/pop CD that speaks to the heart.
But don’t think The Calling is a three-hanky number. This album from Maring, a previous winner of the prestigious "Chris Austin Songwriting Contest" at Merlefest, is a manifesto of strength, appreciation of history and lesson in perseverance.
Just before leaving for a tour to California with her new musical partner, virtuoso guitarist and fiddler Robert Bowlin, Maring took a look back at her musical journey, the CD, and the road ahead.
Tell us about how you came to the musical place you are at now.
My first band, Shady Mix, was stared in Southern Illinois. We were active locally and regionally from about 1989 to 1992. Then we moved to Germany from 1992 to 2001. We returned and started to play again regionally and locally (from 2001 to recently) but my husband just didn’t want to continue. I knew I had to.
How is the music you perform on The Calling different than what was performed by Shady Mix?
It doesn’t differ a whole lot. I was the main singer for that band. I guess the way it differs is that when we were in Germany, we were more of a cover band.
Was it frustrating as a songwriter to perform all covers?
Yes, definitely. I had to make the decision that when we came back I would be a songwriter. But then we came back and my husband just didn’t want to play music professionally anymore. He wanted a day job and security. That led to us having personal problems because music was my main thing.