Wilder Adkins’ songwriting gleans as much from the earthy poetry of Wendell Berry and Mary Oliver as it does from the works of folk luminaries Richard Thompson and Bruce Cockburn. He’s a true theosophical spirit, arrestingly taciturn, but possessed of startling guitar skills, a wit as dry as October leaves, and a tremulous, dented voice that’s frankly mesmerizing.
His courtly-but-witty lyrics evoke a Deep South Shelley or Yeats, riding a joyful guitar dexterity. Adkins hails from Marietta, GA, but now lives and writes in Birmingham, AL. He grew up listening to his dad play renditions of Neil Young and Van Morrison songs on an old Guild Jumbo Acoustic. Some time spent in India helped to expand his melodic sense and also provided a chance to learn Hindi. Adkins’ songs, steeped in natural imagery, frequently touch upon the subjects of faith, doubt, and as the title of his new album would indicate, hope and sorrow.