Singer-songwriter Willis Earl Beal had already moved to rural Washington state by the time his relationship with XL records – or more specifically, a US-based XL subsidiary called Hot Charity…

No longer is Willis Earl Beal wearing the moth-eaten suit of a crotchety bluesman and whispering about “smoking that chronic” like a time-travelling Dr Dre on the Mississippi Delta in…

‘Outsider music’ feels like an old-fashioned concept these days. It still serves as a descriptor for lots of extraordinary artists, though: people who either didn’t fit the record industry’s specifications,…

Willis may be XL’s new big hope, but he’s just been exposed as a former [i]X Factor[/i] hopeful (appearing on the US version in 2011). Fortunately ole high trousers rejected…

There’s a lot of excitement about Willis Earl Beal’s first ever UK dates, taking place this week – making it doubly impressive that Beal’s conjured up all this fervour with…

Chicagoan Beal, the multi-talented, multi-genred first signee to XL’s new imprint Hot Charity, has declared his desire to be “the black Tom Waits”. Sure enough, this righteously malevolent clamour, all…