The tattoo on his left arm reads “sink or swim.” Will Arrington has done the latter.
The singer/songwriter has become increasingly visible in the Texas country music scene after moving to San Marcos from Garland a year ago. His catchy sound and heartfelt lyrics have helped secure him as the opening act for big names such as Cory Morrow and Cody Johnson.
Every Wednesday night, Arrington goes down to the Cheatham Street Warehouse in downtown San Marcos for the Songwriter’s Circle. By making it a routine, Arrington landed his first gig at the venue.
“My dad heard something about songwriter night. So, I went and checked it out. After that, I just went to it every week for the entire school year,” Arrington said. “That got me tied into Cheatham Street. The owner, Kent Finlay, came up to me one night and asked if I would be interested in opening.”
Arrington, a 19-year-old management freshman, has been playing the guitar for five years and writing his own songs for three. Arrington started by showing his parents his skills, then progressed by playing some cover tunes for his church youth group. He then eventually moved to playing his own public shows in places like coffee houses and restaurants.
“Is this just us, thinking that our boy is that good at this music stuff, or is he really talented?” Pat Arrington, Will Arrington’s father, said. “When other people started telling me and my wife about how much they enjoyed Will’s stuff and that they were connecting with his music, we realized it wasn’t us. It was him. He was that good. At that point, we decided to let him go as far he could possibly go with his music.”
As far as his own music goes, Will Arrington pulls his inspiration from other songwriters and the kind of stories they are telling. He said he loves to get together with other artists such as his close friend, Brett Hauser, or Dallas songwriter and musician, Mark David Manders, with whom Arrington has written two of his newest songs. With these new songs, as well as others, Will plans to release his first full album.
“It’s not started yet, but it is going to happen in two-and-a-half to three weeks,” Will Arrington said. “We are recording at the studio right by Cheatham Street Warehouse called Cheatham Street Woodshed. We are also planning some kind of release party. I cannot wait for this to happen.”
Before this new CD, Will recorded an EP titled “In a While,” which was produced at Castle Sound Production with Wes Martin. It included some of the very first songs Will had ever written. Different musicians were brought in to help construct the five-song EP which was then mixed and mastered, copied and distributed.
“When we got together originally to do guitar lessons, I saw that Will was a writer. He had all these songs, and we wanted to go from there,” Martin said. “It took about a full month. We went through each song to make sure it was record ready and to decide what we wanted each song to feel like.”
Wes Martin and Kent Finlay are just a few people in the music industry Will Arrington looks up to, along with Randy Rogers, Stoney LaRue and George Strait. Will Arrington said these men have helped shape him into the artist he wants to be.
“The coolest thing is when you are playing a show, and everybody is paying attention. They start learning the words and singing along,” Will Arrington said. “That comes with taking the initiative. Just really being persistent and pushing. If you are networking and playing as often as you can, that’s on the right track.”