Warning: No Gimmicks, No Offensive Language

Sidewalks (Independent)
Joni Wilcoxson

By David Lilly

What a relief! When I saw the cover of this disc I was apprehensive about hearing a folk singer (I suppose the name Joni had something to do with it). Louisvillian Joni Wilcoxson plays piano, other keyboards, handles lead vocals and does it all pretty well. She's also quite a wordsmith and wrote all the songs on this debut disc, which I encourage you to hear and listen to.

The title song is right up front and dispelled my trepidation about a folk music album. That's right, music fans, Sidewalks rocks and has abundant blues seasoning. Get the CD, turn up the volume while driving the interstate and what fun you will have. A degree in English does no harm to her lyric writing: "There's nothing like inertia/nothing can hurt you/when you travel the speed of not-a-sound," she sings during the title song. That brought a smile to my face the first time I heard it. In stark contrast to that driving song, "Heart of Stone" plays out as a pretty yet painful piano ballad about the breakdown of a relationship. It would work well as an instrumental, but it is enhanced by lyrics like, "So what is love, `cause it's not this/what is the purpose of a passionate kiss/cause happiness is hit and miss." I suppose it could be somewhat, I don't know ... maybe dangerous to mention an unknown songwriter's talent in the same review as the name Bob Dylan. However, at least one song on this disc reminds me of a Dylan song. Not so much the words, but the rhythm and overall sound of "A Million Years" reminds me of Dylan's "Lord Protect My Child." On the other hand, "The Invisible Man" sounds like something from the Carole King catalogue. At any rate, if you like good, emotional and articulate female singer/songwriters, then you ought to get a copy of this CD.

Want to know more about Ms. Wilcoxson and support the Louisville music scene? Sure you do, so check out