6 March 1973, near Afton, Texas, USA. Raised in a rural community, where the chief forms of entertainment came from books and records, Willmon developed an abiding interest in words and music. The music he heard during these years included records by Joe Ely, Waylon Jennings, George Strait and Don Williams as well as the pop of Buddy Holly. Other declared musical influences include Chris LeDoux and John Mellencamp. By the time that he was in his mid-teens Willmon had begun to play the guitar and sat in with a number of bands. He studied for a degree in Animal Science, but maintained his interest in words and music and eventually redirected his studies into music and adding the bass to his instrumental arsenal.
Eventually settling in Nashville, Tennessee, Willmon worked as a songwriter for Sea Gayle Music and also began making an impression as a singer. He signed a recording contract with Columbia Records at the start of the new millennium,...