Stephen Wilson Jr. at Dreamy Draw Festival 2023 by Laura Ord.

Holler Dreamy Draw Session: Stephen Wilson Jr.

February 21, 2024 12:20 pm GMT

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Holler Dreamy Draw Sessions: Stephen Wilson Jr.




If it wasn't already clear, here at Holler, we're diehard fans of Stephen Wilson Jr.

'Søn of Dad', his 2023 debut album, was a heartbreaking tribute and an autobiographical masterpiece. Wrenched from moonkick whiskey nights in Southern Indiana to soundtrack the dissonance of the 2020s, it felt like the sort of kick to the gut you'd be thankful to receive.

So it was only a question of when, not if, Stephen Wilson Jr would join us for his first Holler Live Session. Down in the sultry heat of Scottsdale, Arizona during the inaugural Dreamy Draw Festival, Wilson Jr delivered an intimate yet no less uncompromising performance that we wouldn't quickly forget.

Wilson Jr. introduces his songs with recitals and mantras - before he strums a single note, he mutters the chorus of his opening song like a whisper in the wind; "my patches got patches / and those patches got patches". It's a subtle opening that erupts into a beaten yet brazen celebration of taking on life's hurdles. "Yeah being broke down is how I's built / Hey look over there's another square on the quilt" Wilson Jr commands, his battered and beloved acoustic ringing gutturally under his voice.

"You can call me Billy, but the hills come with me", Wilson Jr. notes calmly, all before letting rip on a gutrot whiskey-soaked bluegrass riff. Knotty and meddling, Wilson Jr. proceeds into a vivid and poetic proclamation of being proud of who you are. "Collard green, cast-iron cornbread, pig on the griddle / out in the back is a soundtrack stacked with a fiddle", he spits, his guitar rattling with venom as he stomps on his trademark blast box. It's bold and striking, much like all of Wilson Jr.'s work.

One of our favourite sessions to date, Stephen Wilson Jr. once again proves why we're so excited about him - and how you should be too.

Holler Dreamy Draw Sessions Team

Director: Connor Kenrick

Cameras: Connor Kenrick, Megell Strayhorn and David Navarrete

Audio Engineer: Norbert (Dreamy Draw Festival / Oh Wow Company)

Editor: Dan Monro (Lookout Productions)

Producer: Ross Jones

For more Holler Dreamy Draw Sessions, see below:

Written by Ross Jones
Author - Stephen Wilson Jr.
Stephen Wilson Jr.