Interview with J.D Wilkes
By: Morgan Bates
Featured photo by: Joshua Black Wilkins
Fire Dream Out Now!
Performing at Jackrabbits 2/24/18
Everyone loves a good story. From “Once upon a time” to the ups and downs of a character’s journey to the either tragic ending or happily ever after, what makes a good story is the way the author or creator executes the tale. Whether it be a story of folklore or of the everyday person, each of us has as story to tell. Today, one of the most interesting storytellers of our time J.D. Wilkes is releasing a solo album titled “Fire Dream” and making a stop at Jacksonville’s Jackrabbits next Saturday February 24th for a high impact acoustic performance. J.D was kind enough to shed some light on the inspiration for the album, talk about the love for his home and how it coveys into his music, and shaking up the performance vibes for one of his favorite mediums of expression.
When listening the J.D’s new and dynamic album, “Fire Dream” the sound was like nothing I’d ever heard before. Songs like title track “Fire Dream,””Hoboes Are My Heroes,” “Moon Bottle,” and “Walk Between Raindrops” are enticing and unconventional with beautiful bluegrass beats to genius dramatic lyrics that will captivate the you from play until the album comes to an end. Though a jack of all trades, J.D. exceeds way beyond the challenge of combining his fascination for traditional folklore and history touching on unwholesome events, while delving into more personal material to express emotion stemmed from events in his own life. The result is spectacular, poetic, and unique.
J.D is no stranger to Jacksonville and has even played the stage at Jackrabbits. However, this time around, his performance will be distinctive from any of his previous shows. He’s giving his performance a “different treatment” for the solo album as he’s going from Rock-A-Billy band to an acoustic remedy with a low key a more intimate setting. J.D. tells me “The dynamic has totally changed from being a big Rock-A-Billy band on stage down to one microphone with me, my banjo, and my bass player. So It’s really different!”
Feeling homesick pretty much a given when it comes to living life on the road constantly. But, it’s J.D’s love and longing for home that has also contributed greatly to his music and gift of storytelling. He explains that while growing up there was always this lack of feeling a real sense of place since he was being uprooted time and time again. When the time came for the dust to settle, he ventured back to the one place that always made him feel at home, Kentucky. Naturally, the sense of missing home comes tumbling back when on the road. But, rather than dwelling in the melancholy of being homesick, J.D. took to his creative side and got to writing. He reveals to me “The irony is that I wrote the whole album while feeling homesick on the road in the back of a van. I am just so fascinated with the romance, mysticism, and timeless quality of Kentucky. I love to not only bring it into my music but, is something I really miss when I am on the road. The album is like my Valentine to Kentucky.”
Embracing the plot twists and crazy narratives of life, J.D Wilkes’ solo album “Fire Dream” is a bold and poetic journey that reminds us there is no place like home, it can be exciting to change things up creatively, and there is no magic like that of a great story.
Be sure to grab your copy of “Fire Dream” out now!
For more information about J.D Wilkes:
Twitter: @theshackshakers & @thedirtdaubers
For tickets to the show: http://bit.ly/2EzGiZc