Thursday, January 13, 2011

David Wilcox at the Coach House

At last nights performance I decided that you probably need to be over 40 to really appreciate the music of David Wilcox. Partially (but of least importance) because there is no real innovation, no provocative vocalization or challenging discordant use of instrumentation. He doesn't scream, wail, or whine. He doesn't bring to the stage an existential angst or wafted disengagement (all things I truly enjoy mind you.) He is simply and unapologetically a storyteller and song crafter. He is a troubadour. I don't think I have seen a performer more present on stage. During the whole performance he seldom stopped smiling and it was a smile of sheer delight (I know, for some of you that alone would be enough to discourage you from seeing him but I found it contagious.) But not to be confused, the smile was not because his subject matter was light or simple, generally is was not, but because he seems to love his art and loves those willing to listen. As a musician he is profoundly talented and demanding but his craft serves his story telling and the two are seamlessly meshed. The reason i say you need to be over 40 is because his songs speak to a life that has been dragged around for a while. The kind of life that has enough experience that one can begin to look back on it for possible insights. The thing that I find most endearing about his writing is that he believes we are capable of such insights. And because he does believe that he is willing to be extremely honest and vulnerable in his performances. If you ever get a chance to see him live I recommend you take it.

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