He has created a Kickstarter for “Settling The Dust,” and has less than two weeks left to realize the financial necessities of creating the forthcoming album. Donate here to support one of our favorite local acts.
In 2003, Joshua Black Wilkins released his first album, 17th and Shelby, a collection of rough, gravely tracks that harken to Tom Waits, a probable reflection of what one might expect to find in East Nashville a decade ago. Coarse, gruff, and unfiltered, the core of which contained an explosive potential, a true gem of a voice. I discovered this album recently, upon moving to its very namesake; in listening to Wilkins’ music, I fell into reverence for the deep history of a city whose past still lingers strong.
Wilkins’ music has since been refined; the nuances of melody and the articulation of his guitar has evolved into beautiful projects, rambunctious and unsettled, sweltering with emotion and consistent in its percolating rasp. In 2013, he released Fair Weather, an album that showers Americana in macabre, dusty and dim and wholly relatable to anyone who, on occasion, views life through the shaded low-key lighting of a cynical film noir.
I frequently revisit Wilkins’ work, not for being easily listenable, but for the confidence it possesses in boasting a divisive and dissonant nature. As is the case with his photography, for which he is well renowned, its production is not for the masses; it is a masterful display of trembling, wrecking emotions that Wilkins seemed compelled to voice, if only to shed a light inside a cave of dusky introspection. His music is wonderfully chilling, a haunting and beautiful display of ash and fallen ember, of the hidden realities in life.
Wilkin’s next album, “Settling The Dust,” will become a reality as soon as his Kickstarter Goal is achieved.