Wil McKenna - Guitarist in RootsCollider & Bassist in The Medicinals | 04 50th Anniversary American Standard Stratocaster/1973 EB-3 Gibson Bass
"I bought her brand new that very same year (2004) from Guitar Center in Henrietta, NY (15 years ago when I was in a band called the Mountain Mojo Authority). I love this guitar. We’ve been through it all together. Also because I had her custom modded in 2011 with a F-Hole for aesthetics as well as subtle sustain. She also has a custom routed out square compartment just below her bridge that I can utilize by placing any small delay pedal snugly within it with the help of some trusty velcro LOL. This idea actually came to me in a dream, and I immediately had it commissioned the next day by an old friend who is a master carpenter, the basic use of this idea is the economy of motion it provides for all of my composed delay parts (as opposed to me kneeling on the floor to manipulate the speed and decay rate of a pedal on a pedal board). I call the guitar “Delayla” and she has been used primarily in RootsCollider as well as other bands and projects and sit ins that I have performed with since 2011. She is my only electric guitar.
I also play a 1973 EB-3 Gibson Bass with The Medicinals, she was purchased on EBay a few years back, I call her my “Thunderstick” because she is the ultimate rock and roll bass, pure vibration and power when put through the proper speakers. I still haven’t had the chance to push her up to 10 LOL. She is also a short scale bass, which I prefer when playing bass since I’m a smaller guy, and I use flatwound strings on her for that extra vibration quotient needed for the dance music genres."
Who is your favorite Rochester musician?
"This is a loaded question. Off the top of my head currently my favorite producer in town is John Viviani, his entire catalogue from his acts Filthy Funk, to Blue Falcon, to The Able Bodies have all been consistent and professional bodies of work that are fresh and tasteful to this date.
My favorite band from our city currently is Joywave for their undeniable candy melodies and 80’s synth pop approaches.
My favorite vocalist currently is Dee Ponder with her soulful golden pipes and her powerful message of justice.
My favorite singer/songwriter from the ROC is Dylan Savage, who I have the pleasure of collaborating and performing on bass with in The Medicinals.
I think you can see how this list could go on forever in regards to hyper focusing on the particulars, especially for everyone in our scene.
I guess my favorite musician is anyone who is self aware, that knows what and what not to do, someone who is consistently present with their contribution and in the moment thereof as well as listening to everyone all at once. Pocket and groove genres I tend to vibe with the best for what I can do within my own wheelhouse.
What is your favorite Rochester music venue?
"In no particular order:
Flour City Station
Photo City Improv
Three Heads Brewing"
Why do you love the Rochester music scene?
"I love our scene because of the following:
Eastman, Jazz Fest, Hochstein, Party in the Park, Band’s on the Bricks, Park Point, Park Ave Fest, Corn Hill Fest, the Open Jams at Johnny’s, Murph’s and Temple, the buskers etc..and the list goes on, it’s a small little hot bed of talent and creativity in the middle of NY nestled between Buffalo and Syracuse. Also the level of musicianship and inspiration here is pretty staggering and a real pleasure to be a part of as well. It must have something to do about living on one of the Great Lakes with a river that runs through us LOL. It should be noted that there are also a handful of drummer’s here in our town that are of a NYC, LA, and Nashville quality, so from a composer’s perspective this makes it worth taking the time to put original music and bands and other side projects together.
Personally I have been performing and supporting the Rochester, NY music scene within a professional capacity since 1999. Now that I’m a father my passion for our community has grown ten fold. I want to ensure that my children grow up in an artistic environment of colorful lush harmonic valleys and thundering avalanches of rhythm. What better place for them than Rochester?"