Folk Singer-Songwriter David Wilcox Carries His ‘Musical Medicine’ Back to the Concert Stage
Words By Mario Tarradell
Folk singer-songwriters have long been recognized for creating music that plays like hearts hanging on the sleeves of love, life and everything in between. They are observers of the human condition, of the world around them and of the intersection between the two. As listeners and even admirers, we frequently see ourselves in those lyrics. Their music is indeed universal.
Veteran folk singer-songwriter David Wilcox certainly has the pedigree. The Ohio native with the warm baritone first came to the attention of audiences and critics when he won the prestigious Kerrville Folk Festival in 1988. Thirty-plus years and 20-plus albums later, Wilcox won top honors in the 23rd annual USA Songwriting Competition for his effervescent “We Make the Way by Walking” from his most recent album, “The View From the Edge.” In between, he’s earned praise in “The New York Times,” “The Boston Globe,” “The Los Angeles Times” and “Rolling Stone,” to name a few.
And like all folk singer-songwriters worth their lyrics and melodies, Wilcox shines before an intimate audience. He returns to Northeast Florida Jan. 19 performing at The Original Cafe Eleven in St. Augustine Beach.
It is music, whether performed live before an audience or recorded for posterity, that Wilcox deems cathartic, even medicinal. In fact, if you check out his website, you’ll find a “Musical Medicine” section that features songs ready to heal heartbreak, depression and addiction. But also, there are songs to appreciate life, beauty and “enjoying the bliss of the moment.”
That, in essence, is the power of original folk music. Wilcox taps into the reveries of humanity and turns out vignettes that we can all relate to. But most importantly, these are tunes that make us feel, think, laugh and cry. And even at its most deeply personal, Wilcox’s songs are universal.
“I’m grateful to music,” he said. “I have a life that feels deeply good, but when I started playing music, nothing in my life felt that good. I started to write songs because I wanted to find a way to make my life feel as good as I felt when I heard a great song. I don’t think I’d be alive now if it had not been for music.”