David K. Wilcox - note the 'K,' please, 'cause he's definitely not the same guy as the American folkie of similar name - is something of a Canadian institution, at least among the beer-and-toque set.
David's an exceptional guitar player, a witty songwriter, and a semi-legendary performer whose antics have delighted fans for some twenty-five years now. So why isn't he better known? My guess is it's because he simply can't be serious for very long.
David K. Wilcox is a bit of a goof. And I mean that in the very best way. That's why his originals, with titles like "Hypnotizin' Boogie" and "Hot Hot Papa," "Cheap Beer Joint" and "Downtown Came Uptown," work so well. They're played impeccably. David has a way with hooks, a seemingly intuitive understanding of dynamics, and can be utterly dazzling on the fretboard. But from an artistic standpoint, they're toss-offs. There's a cheeky frat-boy charm to them, but it comes at the price of an alarmingly high 'corn quotient.'
When David tackles familiar fare with a bit more meat, tunes like "My Eyes Keep Me In Trouble" or Muddy's "Rock Me," though, he's unconvincing. His vocals lack conviction, and his arrangements don't add anything to either tune. While he's long been respected in blues circles for his sheer dexterity, he's always been equally at home in the rock world, and no one would mistake him for a real bluesman. If nothing else he's to darn cheerful . . .
For the most point David sticks with a trio, occasionally beefing things up with keys courtesy of, among others, Richard Bell. It leaves him lots of room to do what he does best; deliver tough, razor-sharp guitar with lots of well-placed tricks and surprises to keep things interesting. Selections span David's entire career, and will definitely please fans; they've all been nicely cleaned up, and the sound, particularly on the older cuts, is excellent. There are three previously unreleased tracks for good measure; completists please note.
Blues needn't always be a deep, soul-stirring experience. There's lots of room for levity, and as a soundtrack for a raucous party, David's music fit's the bill quite nicely. It's not something one would play every day, but when you do, you'll have fun. Guaranteed!
Stony Plain Records
P.O. Box 861, Edmonton, Alberta
Canada T5J 2L8
Phone : 780-468-6423
Fax : 78o-465-8941
Web : www.stonyplainrecords.com
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