Leap of Faith
B. Willie Dryden was born and spent his childhood in and around Raleigh, NC. He taught himself the guitar and harmonica at age 16, beginning to write his own poetry and songs. In those early days, reflecting musically the styles of the day, he played various local coffeehouses and clubs where his distinctive style began to emerge. Soon he was traveling the east coast from Baltimore to New York where he played at 'Gerdes Folk City' in 1976. In the early 1970s he headed for Nashville, Tennessee beginning as a staff writer and studio musician for some of Nashville's prestigious studios on the world famous 'Music Row.' He and a fellow staff singer writer, Rudi Whaling developed a song writing and singing partnership called Whaling and Dryden, which recorded 'Delta Queen' and even composed an operetta ballet called 'Alexzandr and Aloyosha.' The duet of Whaling and Dryden soon developed into their first band called 'The Harlequins.' 'The Harlequins' were a theatrical rock and roll review that played clubs and other venues in Nashville and New York. They traveled in England and Europe performing and began to evolve into the now legendary 'Beat Poets.' The 'Beat Poets' specialized in an alternative folk gothic type format and emerged onto the Nashville scene in the late 1980's. By the early 1990's, they are one of Nashville's hottest musical acts. They soon released 'Catch Her in the Rye' to rave reviews. Their second LP 'Psychedelic Rag' soon followed to equal popular acclaim. In the mid 1990's, after the demise of the 'Beat Poets,' B. Willie sought to get back to and reclaim his musical roots by embarking on a solo career. At the same time, he began to pursue the intense spiritual longings that had always been a force in his life. This spiritual sojourn led him to earth centered spirituality and soon it began to emerge in his music. During this time, he released 'Best in Black,' 'Andromeda,' and 'Blessed Be,' his first fully pagan, spirit-charged effort. 'Blessed Be' also began B.Willie's practice of including poetry readings by well-known pagan poets into his projects. In his next project 'Leap of Faith,' he takes the listener through the entire liturgical cycle of a modern pagan ritual with a Who's who of the Nashville pagan scene. Never one to rest on his laurels, B. Willie has begun performing in earnest, highlighting the famous PCCO/ERA 'Summerfest' in Ohio in 2002. He is also working on releasing a compilation album of his earlier works entitled At the Click of My Heels as well as the much-anticipated Wake up Daisy at his Beat Time Studio in Nashville. Wake up Daisy will be a bluegrass exploration of earth centered spiritual themes. B.Willie continues to live and work in Nashville where he is continuing to develop his distinctive sound and working as a producer for other artist/songwriters. One of his most recent productions was 'Onward to Avalon' by the Kentucky folk artist, Jack Montgomery.