The WillowWacks’ story is one of love, music and adventuring through life. Micah and Lauren Gilliam write and record in their St. Augustine home studio with true passion of driven artists and an eye for authentic living.
“WillowWacks is our ongoing marriage project. It helps us to work on what’s really important,” Micah says from their studio aptly named The Goondocks. “We’re just doing our thing and having fun.”
Pictured above: Lauren and Micah Gilliam and their pup are expecting a new addition to their family this October with the birth of their first child.
The Gilliams share a house with a roommate, but their rooms are filled with studio equipment, not furniture, revealing how highly they esteem both music and freedom. Their bed is in an RV parked in the side yard.
The studio’s wood panels peek out from behind heavy drapes, posters, and shelves of recording equipment, original artwork and “vegan taxidermy.” That’s the proper name for the mounted teddy bear head, Micah laughs, sharing that the artist who created it is his “first best friend in St. Augustine.”
“We’ll write more songs that melt our hearts. I’m excited to see how this will change things. We’ll have our own family culture.”
— Lauren Gilliam
The couple has lived here four years, and an incredulous look passes over Lauren’s face as she calculates her career in music. Long an artist, she’s only been seriously pursuing music recently. “So much has happened in four years,” she whispers with an almost reverent tone.
“Lauren is good at a lot of different things,” Micah says.
“Micah’s a very good and tough teacher,” Lauren insists, smiling. Micah begins to list the instruments he’s mastered — guitar, mandolin, banjo and percussion. Lauren interrupts, “Basically, he’s the prince of folk.”
Their mutual admiration as artists shines through both in day-to-day life and in their music. In keeping with the traditional folk mindset, intimacy is a key part of their work as musicians. The WillowWacks’ sweet, contemplative, folksy songs share the story of their life and draw in their audience to consider what’s important.
“We were careless;
now we treat each other carefully.
It was hard but
now we hardly seem to care…”
— “Ideal Man,” by The WillowWacks
“We’re not trying to be the next big thing,” Micah says. “I like keeping it small,” Lauren completes.
Micah again, “The reason we do it now is to do something together. I don’t really see that changing much.”
“We’ll write more songs that melt our hearts.” Lauren looks down at her slightly rounded figure and smiles. “I’m excited to see how this will change things. We’ll have our own family culture.” The couple’s first baby will make its appearance in October. “I’m super looking forward to being a mom … I hope our kid likes music as much as we do,” she says.
The WillowWacks are gearing up for another summer tour, or as Micah calls it, Tourcation, because they enjoy themselves along the way. “It’s fun being out on the road with your wife and dog. We eat outside. Camp outside. It’s good,” he says.
The Gilliams live purposefully to enjoy life together. “I want to inspire people to believe they can do stuff like this,” Micah says. “People think it’s a pipe dream. We can’t afford to go out to eat every week, but we can Tourcation for a month.”
Lauren sums up their story in one small phrase, “My life is awesome!”
For more information on The WillowWacks visit thewillowwackscom.