From his first
album 22 years ago, David Wilcox has transcended traditional Folk/Pop
singer/songwriter status by crafting compelling short stories of
everyday life and love set to an infectiously engaging soundtrack.
Above it all is his expressive and mellow baritone and fluid
guitar style, translating word and melody in tales of hope, sorrow,
heartbreak and hilarity that explore the full range of human emotion.
surrounding Wilcox’s self-released 1987 debut, The Nightshift Watchman,
garnered the Ohio-born/North Carolina-based songwriter a contract with
A&M Records, and his major label debut, How Did You Find Me Here,
was a minor masterpiece, eventually selling over 100,000 copies mostly
by word of mouth.
Since then, Wilcox
has attempted to recreate the lightning-in-a-bottle effect of How Did
You Find Me Here with varying degrees of success.
His later work,
particularly 2006’s Vista and 2008’s solo acoustic Airstream, came the
closest, perhaps because they seemed effortless, relaxed and unforced.
And for those who require a professional endorsement, local luminary
Ric Hordinski has worked with Wilcox for many years; he produced 2002’s
Into the Mystery and 2005’s Out Beyond Ideas (a musical translation of
sacred poetry and collaboration with Wilcox’s wife, Nance Pettit) and
recorded last year’s Airstream, named after the trailer in which
Wilcox, Pettit and their son Nate traveled and lived for two years.
(Hordinski opens Wilcox’s Covington show.)
Early on, Wilcox
was favorably compared to the likes of James Taylor, Joni Mitchell and
John Gorka, but his 13 good-to-great studio albums (including his
latest, this year’s excellent Open Hand), two live albums and best-of
package (he’s never really had any “hits” to speak of) have proven that
Wilcox should no longer be measured against those Folk/Pop icons as an
acolyte but can stand with them as a peer and an influence in his own
(Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here.)