Although recognized as one of the most accomplished harmonica players, Will Griffin is far more than this and plays many more instruments than the harmonica.
As the griffin is a mythological creature, who is half lion and half eagle, Will Griffin personifies this as being bold as an administrator and consultant, with the grace of an eagle as a multi-instrumentalist, producer and songwriter.
As an administrator, songwriter, arranger and multi-instrumentalist, with over 30 years of experience; Will Griffin has been the owner of many on-line music and other technology based properties, while also spending many years as an administration consultant and business analyst in various industries. He owns several business ventures, providing financial services to municipalities, schools, and fire departments.
Will Griffin was born in McKeesport, PA in 1956 and grew up and educated in the greater Pittsburgh area.
From polkas to pop music, Will learned various styles of music growing up in a steel mill, blue-collar, German and Polish ethnically oriented community, located 25 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, on the Allegheny River. This certainly was true for how the harmonica was played by the old men at the PNA Polish Club and the American Legion halls.. But the country music that influenced Will most came out of Nashville, TN, where they also played many of the other styles of music that intrigued the young musician, including rock, pop, blues, and jazz. His biggest influence was the country music and bluegrass performances of Charlie McCoy.
Will first went to Nashville in 1975 for brief periods to work on recording projects, doing a few demo sessions for various artists with Cherish Records and other independent labels, to pay for his college education. At a young age (18), Will Griffin became a noted stage and studio player on the guitar, the bass, the saxophone, and the harmonica in the greater Pittsburgh area including eastern Ohio and Wheeling, West Virginia.
During one of these recording trips to Nashville, for a recording week in the Summer of 1976, Will was befriended by the legendary harmonica player, multi-instrumentalist, and multiple award winning (including Grammy) studio musician Charlie McCoy. Will learned much, beyond a whole host of harmonica licks, from McCoy. Charlie had just become the music director of the TV show "Hee-Haw" and taught Will by discussions and example, regarding the need in these types of situations of being the complete musician and person and how musicians should be treated and encouraged to create.
Charlie McCoy did much to motivate Will Griffin's education, continue his musical talents, to also learn to write songs and arrange. As an instrumentalist, Charlie advised him to learn as much as he could from listening to many other top musicians, and to learn to manage the business end of the music writing and recording industry. Charlie also opened many doors of introduction for Will, with some of the other legendary studio musicians, songwriters, and record company executives, who have influenced him for many years. McCoy also advised Will to complete his education with excellence and to learn to write, including songwriting.
In addition to Charlie McCoy, Will's other harmonica playing influences include: Stevie Wonder, Little Walter Jacobs, Sonny Boy Williamson (I & II), Sonny Terry, Larry Adler, Mark Brown, Smokey Greenwell, and Johnnie Puleo and the Harmonicats. Will's guitar influences include: Chet Atkins, Roy Clark, Billy Byrd, Pete Mitchell, Reggie Young, Roy Nichols, Buddy Guy, Carlos Santana, Eric Clapton, B.B. King and Stevie Ray Vaughan.
At age 21, Will Griffin produced his first master recording session in 1977, calling upon his friends in the then very popular band "Barefoot Jerry" (Wayne Moss, Russ Hicks, Barry Chance, Si Edward, Mike McBride and friend Charlie McCoy) to help out a fledgling producer and session manager. At this time, Will was still in Pittsburgh as a graduate student, working on his M.Ed. in vocational counseling and he was doing his field work as the Director of Educational and Social Welfare Programs for the Salvation Army in the Pittsburgh, PA area. He completed my Ed.D. in Education Administration and then began the process of permanently moving to Nashville.
Will formerly relocated to Nashville in 1982 to be closer to the music industry, while also completing post-doctorate studies at Peabody College for Teachers (Vanderbilt University) in the Process of Re-Education. During the 1980's and early 90's, Will played on and produced a few master sessions and publishing demo sessions, giving his primary efforts to his professional career in computers, administration, education and political lobbying; because of the major demands these activities required of him.
Although Will gave much emphasis to his professional career, since 1975, he became friends and worked with many dignitaries and legends in the Music Industry, stage and studio, including but not limited to:
legendary recording engineers and producers such as Tommy Cassassa, Buddy Killian, Jimmy Bowan, Pete Drake, Johnny Drake, Owen Bradley and Joe Harshman;
songwriters, Harlan Howard, Hank Cochran, Peter McCann, Richard Lee, Rick Peables, Joe Sun, Bill Anderson, Tommy Barnes, Kostas, Dennis Morgan, Jim Stafford, John Prine, Jan Crutchfield, Ray Stevens, Larry Henley, Larry Shaw, and many other;
legendary universal studio musicians such as Chet Atkins, Charlie McCoy,
(steel pickers) Pete Drake, Curley Chalker, Lloyd Greene, Jim Veste, Sonny Garrish, Russ Hicks,
(piano players) Hargus "Pig" Robins, Floyd Cramer, David Briggs, Ronnie Godfrey, Gary Caudel,
(guitar pickers) Chet Atkins, Roy Clark, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Reggie Young, Chip Young, Ray Flacke, Pete Mitchell, Leo Kotke, Gary Caudel;
(bass players) Bob Babbitt, Dave Palmroy, Mike Dunbar; Stanley Clarke,
(fiddlers) Vassar Clemens, Johnny Gimble, Buddy Spicher, "Hoot" Hester,
(dobro players) "Uncle" Josh Graves, Jerry Douglas,
(banjo players) Bela Fleck, Buck Trent, John Hartford, Earle Scruggs, Doug Dillard and
legendary recording artist such as: Johnny Cash, Johnny Paycheck, Roy Orbison, George Jones, Bill Monroe, Faron Young, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams Jr, Don Williams, Glen Campbell, Roger Miller, Ray Price, Charlie Rich, Charlie Pride, Larry Gatlin, Kris Kristofferson, Jerry Reed, Steve Wariner, Guy Clarke, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jimmie Vaughn, Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton, George Benson, George Harrison, Gus Hardin, Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette, Tanya Tucker, Emmylou Harris, Ricky Skaggs, Sharon White, Lee Greenwood, Michael Martin Murphy, Glenn Campbell, Tom T. Hall, Mel McDaniel, Joe Stampley, Joan Armitrading, and many others.
To form the Studio Musicians' Network in late 2001, Will reached out to others he had known and he had worked with since 1975, to form a fraternity of studio players with the highest level of personal and ethical standards, to match their almost magical playing abilities. For his own studio band, Will recruited David Briggs, Mike Dunbar and Steve Turner to form Music Circle South.
In addition to these core players, Music Circle South also includes many of the top studio musicians in Nashville, with many specialty instrument players such as steel guitar, fiddle, banjo, string sections, horns, reeds, and background singers, with an impressive roster of substitutes for any of the core rhythm sections or specialty instrument players, who may not be available, due to their heavy schedules and demand for their talents. Advanced booking is therefore recommended, if someone wishes to have the founding players assembled on their recording projects.
Music Circle South and the Studio Musicians' Network enjoy the deepest bench of the available top talent studio musicians for a core rhythm section, specialty instrumentalists, and substitute players of any band in the world; and they give the same efforts, commitment to excellence, and quality to those who are recording their first sessions, equally as they give it to the major artists working on their next Platinum CD.
Will continues to write his own songs, play all of the instruments on the publishing demos for all of the songs he has written, and he performs publicly at many events, with a band, or by simply taking out his "tin box" harmonica and performing the National Anthem a capella at the beginning of sporting or racing events around the USA. He is developing his own home studio system to record many instrumental projects and original songs, which he will sell as on-line downloads and as CD packages.
Will Griffin also owns Griffin Fire and VFD-Funding Group, who globally sells new & used fire trucks and ambulances, while providing financing for these and other fire department needs, public schools projects and municipal infrastructure projects.
You can contact Will Griffin at firstname.lastname@example.org for help in organizing, arranging, producing, staffing and scheduling your recording project.
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