Folk singer Chris Wilhelm has a voice that rings with a certain vulnerable sense of conviction. And indeed, this Boston-based singer/songwriter has seen a lot during his 16-year music career: In between his relocations from Hudson, New York to Albany and now to Boston, he has spent time busking for change in subway stations, singing open-mic nights in coffee shops, and altogether honing his delicate craft. His current songs reach a rare level of emotional urgency, steeped in a palpable sense of hope and understanding.
He began his music career, he says, as a child of 10 in Hudson, NY, making his first guitar out of a piece of cardboard with strings drawn on with permanent marker, so he could play along with his favorite music. He made the decision to make music his primary focus after moving to Albany in 2000. But that childhood sense of innocent musical wonder hasn’t seemed to change over the years, as he is happiest to live his life simply: traveling around town-to-town spreading his message of breezy acoustic melodies that echo the best of early Bob Dylan and American blues and roots music.
With a respectable roster of original songs and a self-released album, This Train’s Not Going Slow, under his belt, Wilhelm shows no signs of slowing down. He plays about five shows a month all around the Northeast, and even continues to perform in T stations in Boston, keeping things humble so his music and voice can grow organically. It is doubtful he would want it any other way.
-By Jon Meyer, WERS 88.9FM Boston