To call the Reverend John Wilkins a national treasure would not be an overstatement. He is the son of pre-war blues/folk-revival legend Reverend Robert Wilkins and he leads one of the most exciting and uplifting musical acts on the blues and gospel circuit today. His multiracial, multi-generational band blends soul, southern gospel and hill country rhythm, into a sound that has the infectious drive of hill country blues with the emotional heights of a summer tent revival.
Following in the footsteps of his famous father Rev. Robert Wilkins, a blues-singer turned preacher who went from the juke joint to the pulpit, the life of Rev. John Wilkins took a similar path, echoing the story of the elder Wilkins' most famous song, 'Prodigal Son.'
But in 2020 John Wilkins' life has been closer to a different iconic bible character, Lazarus, as he has miraculously risen after surviving a month-long stay in intensive care battling Covid19 in a Memphis hospital. As Rev. Wilkins sings on the closing track of his forthcoming album, ÒI've come through the storm and rain, I've come through the storm and rain, and I made it!'
And there is much to celebrate with this resurrection.
Trouble, the aptly named new album on Goner Records, is a confident and joy-filled statement delivering the good-news gospel message unapologetically through music influenced by Ray Charles, Junior Kimbrough, Bill Withers and of course, his father.