Even though he’s been living in Nashville, Chris Wilcox can’t seem to stay away from the stages in Charleston. The singer-songwriter — most recognized for his rock songs that tell stories like folk songs — celebrates laying down the struggle to make happy choices. He’s slowly been building his ideal live performance sound as he plays with local musicians, and it’s led to his first recordings as rock outfit Chris Wilcox & the Boys. The five-piece just released the single “Goldfriend” off their forthcoming album from Charleston’s own Coast Records, and will have the release party with indie-folk artist Darby Wilcox on June 29 at The Royal American while they tour for the summer. Let’s see what else Wilcox is up to in this week’s Beat Juice.
1. Tell me about unveiling your new project Chris Wilcox & the Boys with your debut single “GoldFriend” on March 13.
It’s a nine-song album recorded with Matt Zutell at Coast Records. The Boys include three quarters of Human Resources (Matt Zutell on drums, Aaron Utterback on bass, Paul Chelmis on piano) and Peter Clark from Ohio on guitar. The project is geared toward a Southern rock, Americana sound that is conducive to our live show.
2. So you did a live-to-tape-recording with a full band? That’s quite the lost art.
We tracked the album live with the five of us all plugged in listening with headphones, and it was a blast. This was especially fun for me since I had been playing these newly written songs acoustic for over a year before coming down to track them. Having the immediate effect of the full band on it was pretty awesome for me. From there we tracked each song about four or five times, or until we got a pass we felt really good about. Then we added in some overdubs here and there. I realllllly wish Matt had a tape machine, because that would have been even cooler. We’re aiming to give it that warm, tape/vinyl sound through the mixing process.
3. What is your biggest creative inspiration right now?
Finding new music
4. What song is stuck in your head today?
“Good Times” by Sam Cooke
5. Last album you bought?
Heart to Mouth by LP
6. Recent musical discovery?
Frank Sinatra. I never really listened to him much, but there are awesome live albums on Spotify with all his grade-A banter between songs.
7. Fave local venue?
The Royal American
8. What’s your best, go-to t-shirt?
SSBD (short sleeve button down)
9. Your hangover cure is …
10. Last show you went to?
11. What station’s always on your radio dial?
Sirius XM The Spectrum
12. Your musical style can be compared to?
A little Jason Isbell with a little Allman Brothers blended in a Margaritaville Machine —best served cold.
13. What band have you been meaning to listen to?
Mac Demarco … I guess not a band but nonetheless
14. What’s next for you? Shows, videos, song or album releases?
April 25 we’re playing at Royal American with Ona, who open for Tyler Childers the night before at Charleston Music Hall. This summer the Boys and I will also be on the road June and July, and we will be releasing new songs over the course of the next several months.