David Wilcox’s boyish sensitivity appeals to the coffeehouse crowd who immerse themselves in his clever, poetic lyrics.
Such was true of the audience at the SRO Troubadour concert in support of Wilcox’s third A&M release, “Big Horizon.” But those looking for memorable, exciting music should look elsewhere. Wilcox is a poet/storyteller first, a songwriter/player second.
He has something to say about love, relationships and life, and he says it with insight, humor and moments of profundity. He moves and inspires people with his words, particularly with songs such as “Show the Way,” which he performed during his encore.
Now if the folk singer could only get some excitement into his music and voice, he would be in serious business. His even-keel, generic style of singing, playing and music-writing isn’t enough to keep the focus of the modern short attention span.
His voice, reminiscent of James Taylor, is pleasant, familiar and comforting but won’t awaken any sleep-deprived person. And his songs, although melodically pleasant, stop short of clear musical distinctiveness.
Wilcox started his performance shy and inhibited but warmed toward the end, introducing expressiveness and character, creating more of a rapport with the audience.
Wilcox also experienced distracting technical problems. He tuned his guitar after every song. But he handled it with relative professionalism.