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Graham Wilkinson Refines His Sound With "Cuts So Deep"





Graham Wilkinson Refines His Sound With "Cuts So Deep"

Graham Wilkinson has never been shy about exploring the antecedents and outer fringes of the AOR idiom. Wilkinson's 2009 “YEARBOOK” memorably ranged from ballads to heavy riffs to ska, snagging appearances from local luminaries Alejandro Escovedo and Hayes Carll for even more variety.  2016's effort “Because of You'' brought as much reggae to the table as rock.  

 

That early work was enjoyable, but it was also uneven. “Cuts So Deep,” which dropped on March 5, feels like Wilkinson finally found his own idiom. The title track finds a classic rock rhythm that, while liberally seasoned with twangy vocals and electric blues licks, sticks with straight ahead rock and heartbreak lyrics. 

 

Other tracks go further afield, but all of “Cuts So Deep” gives a sense of consistent, settled skill. Wilkinson is in full control of his powers here – his forays into reggae and blues feel less scattershot now – they're built on a solid foundation of chops, riffs and hummable hooks. “Cuts So Deep” may not have as much experimentation as earlier efforts, but what is here is consistently excellent.

 

A final note – Graham Wilkinson had more to overcome on this album than a shift in genre. “Cuts So Deep” is Wilkinson's first full album since suffering a severe hand fracture.

 

It does us old Austin heads good to have him back and at his best.

 

 

- Matt Salter

 

“Cuts So Deep” is available for digital download now. A vinyl is due out in July 2021.

Published: March 28, 2021 |

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