Songs You May Have Missed #501


David Wilcox: “Language of the Heart” (1989)

Sometime in 1989, during a four-or-five-year phase of following popular country music (which wasn’t nearly as hackneyed or stuck in cliché as the current brand) I happened to have The Nashville Network on TV at work when this very performance aired:

I was instantly mesmerized by gifted songwriter David Wilcox. The song’s lyric pulled me in, as did the musicianship–he made eye contact with the audience while playing complex guitar lines throughout the song. This wasn’t your standard TNN fare.

So I went looking for his album (on cassette, my format of choice for most of the 80′s, sorry to say). However, by the time I made it to the shop, I’d forgotten his name.

Undaunted, I began the needle-in-a-haystack exercise of browsing through the cassette selection at Jerry’s Records in Pittsburgh, thinking I just might get lucky and recognize the guy’s name if his cassette happened to be there. Of course, looking alphabetically, it took a while to get to Wilcox, but I did indeed recognize his name. And the album’s title, How Did You Find Me Here, was startlingly appropriate.

When I finally got a chance to see him live his talent as a musician blew me away. I’d never seen a guitarist change tunings every song or two, or use multiple capos. (Wilcox shaved down parts of his capos so they only touched certain strings. On a given song he’d use as many as three of them.)

David Wilcox is worth a listen–or better yet the price of a live show–if you prefer substance to gimmick; if you like a well-turned metaphor or a life lesson in a lyric. You may not find yourself dancing in the aisles–but it’s a worthwhile tradeoff for the journey into your own head he’ll lead you on.

See also:

See also:

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