Wilbur is brainchild of MerrittWritten by Mighty Wyte (Matt Feher) | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Multi-instrumentalist and singer Mike Merritt writes and performs what he calls “indie folk” music. The guitar-and-vocal-focused music he creates is most certainly worthy of notice.
“It’s really just storytelling music,” he said.
“I didn’t grow up around this kind of music, I was mostly exposed to progressive rock — Rush, King’s X, King Crimson and things like that,” Merritt said. “Back in the mid-’90s I was living in Tampa, Fla., and my dad came home with a John Prine record. I listened to the record over and over; I basically ended up stealing the record from him.”
Merritt, who sings and plays guitar for the local trio Shitdangmonstertrucks!, said his solo work, dubbed “Wilbur,” is designed to encourage musical exploration.
“Wilbur is just me. I’m always playing the acoustic guitar or dobro. Every time I play as Wilbur I have a different person playing with me. Sometimes I’ll have a horn player or another guitarist, every once in a while I’ll have a bassist with me,” he said. “Each Wilbur show is off the top of my head. The best part is that playing with different people all the time prevents the music from becoming stale. We’re always exploring new music, new genres.”
Merritt’s goal is to capture the transcendental nature of the music he fell in love with.
“The Prine record felt very real; it was tangible,” Merritt said. “It wasn’t someone writing music that only applied to one group of people. It was about everyday occurrences, it wasn’t off limits to anybody.”
Merritt described Wilbur as his “brainchild.”
“I’m working on an album now but I write in spurts,” he said. “I’m trying to piece together about 10 years’ worth of material right now. The album is about halfway complete and I hope to have it finished by the end of this year.”
Wilbur plays at Swig, 219 Louisiana Ave. in Perrysburg, every Tuesday from 6-9 p.m. Merritt’s other band, Shitdangmonstertrucks!, plays The Village Idiot on a regular basis.
“Shitdangmonstertrucks! is just a raunchy blues band,” Merritt said. “I have an engineering degree from UT but I can’t find work. Music is my plan B, and it’s a lot more fun.”