Award-winning American folk musician and singer-songwriter guitarist David Wilcox will perform Sunday in Grass Valley. The creator of more than 18 albums and will be in concert with Justin Farren opening, at the Center for the Arts.
In 2008, Wilcox was honored with a silver award along with Bob Dylan, in Acoustic Guitar’s singer/songwriter category.
“The song has to offer something universal. I want songs that people can understand the first time ... I write songs with layers in them, so they stay interesting over the years,” Wilcox said.
It all began with a bike ride through North Carolina when he was just a teenager. Wilcox and a friend bicycled the full length of the Blue Ridge Parkway asking people, ‘Where can we find musicians?’ They were directed to a “hippie school” - Warren Wilson College, where soon Wilcox was enrolled. He and his wife have called Asheville home ever since.
“There was this cute little music venue, like 150 people max, and that was the perfect size for me. I was playing there every Tuesday and really learned how to make it fresh, not to just play the same set, but how to respond to the crowd and be spontaneous,” he said.
Wilcox debuted with his first album in 1987, “The Nightshift Watchman,” then began touring regularly.
After playing at the Bluebird Café in Nashville, he signed with A&M Records in 1989. After his contract with A & M expired in 1994, Wilcox continued to write songs, tour and release albums. That same year, he performed at Carnegie Hall with 30 other singer-songwriters in a showcase event. Wilcox combines thought-provoking lyrics with acoustic guitar. His finger style is similar to Nick Drake and Joni Mitchell. Performing Songwriter Magazine has featured Wilcox five times. His 2005 album, “Out Beyond Ideas” was a joint project with his wife, Nance Pettit, described featuring sacred poetry set to music from different religious traditions. That year Wilcox traveled the country with his wife and teenaged son in an Airstream trailer attached to a bio-diesel truck. His most recent release is “Blaze.”
Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. show are $22 for members of the Center, $25 for the general public and are available at the Center’s Box Office in person, by phone at 530-274-8384 ext. 14, online at www.thecenterforthearts.org or at BriarPatch Co-op. The Center for the Arts is at 314 W Main Street, in Grass Valley.