J. Coursey Willis

… all aboard the train to windy hill

Stitching together elements of rock, blues, country, and grunge on an acoustic foundation, J. Coursey Willis walks a dark road filled with a rage that creeps through his soulful vocals.

Born Joshua Bryan Willis in Wilmington, Delaware, the middle of several children. He and his brother, Derek, were adopted by Robert and Sheila Willis and were raised on Kent Island, seated in the Chesapeake Bay.

Growing up in the influential age of the 90’s, Willis gathered inspiration from such bands as Alice In Chains, Stone Temple Pilots, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Smashing Pumpkins.  Earlier music pioneers like the great Led Zeppelin, Muddy Waters, and Johnny Cash also attributed to his outspoken style.

While attending Kent Island High School, Willis began writing and performing music in his first band, Negative Creep. He performed in various other bands through his early years, but most recently settled in as frontman and guitarist for the band Defrayal in 2010. Willis has opened for KIX and Linwood Taylor as well as shared the stage with Days of the New, Jimmie’s Chicken Shack, L.A. Guns, Charm City Devils, Marky Ramone, Chesapeake Sons, The Kelly Bell Band, Blackfoot, Derek St. Holmes of Ted Nugent, and many more.

In late 2010, Willis set off on a solo venture performing under the name “J. Coursey Willis” in homage to his mother’s family maiden name. He released his debut EP, Missing October, on May 31, 2015 and continues to write in preparation for future studio releases.

Willis currently performs on stage with many talented musicians including Bryan Ewald of Jimmies Chicken Shack & The Jarflys, Frank Grocholski of Jimmies Chicken Shack, Dan Carlisle of Rachael Yamagata, and Dan Bowers of Derek St. Holmes. He also plays numerous solo and occasional duo acoustic shows with such musicians as Scott Spivey of Starcrush, Forrest Anderson of Hot Tub Limo, and Jonathan Frase of Hot Tub Limo.

Look for J. Coursey Willis on Apple Music, iTunes, Spotify, Amazon MP3, Google Play, and all other popular music sites.


J. Coursey Willis

“I like his voice, it is soothing. The lyrics are interesting and thoughtful. It is more than just a song, it is like a story. I think the whole package (song, voice, lyrics etc) is an experience, not just something you play in the background and not pay attention to. I really enjoyed the song.”

- Audiokite

“This is a great song, reminds me somewhat a combination of 70’s and 90’s this singer has a great voice.”

- Audiokite

“I love this artists voice and the lyrics are really great as well. I can see this being a part of a soundtrack or used for a TV Show. The production is great, very professional sounding. Great song.”

- Audiokite