Southern Indiana-born, Nashville-based artist Stephen Wilson Jr. released new single “Father’s Son,” a stirring tribute to his late father soundtracked by delicate strings and sweeping slide guitar. The song is his first new release following his critically-acclaimed debut EP bon aqua, released earlier this year on Big Loud Records.
“Being born in the shadow of a man greater than his name and to be given the same, I was gifted with this song as an attempt to rationalize my inherent conflict between heredity & identity,” shares Wilson. “Am I me or am I him, and who is he? Whoever I was before died with him, and now I am what I am with a mighty anchor that is his legacy dragging an ocean floor full of formative memories.”
“I wear his blue jean jacket and his name like a badge of honor / I used to hate being called junior, but I don’t mind any longer,” he sings. Wilson was raised by a single father who was an accomplished boxer who began training him at age seven through adulthood. He would go on to become an Indiana State Golden Gloves finalist.
Self-described as “Death Cab For Country,” Stephen Wilson Jr. draws upon indie rock, grunge and country to create a distinct sound that is influenced by artists as diverse as The National, Willie Nelson and Nirvana. His songs have been recorded by Caitlyn Smith, Brothers Osborne, Old Dominion, MacKenzie Porter, Sixpence None the Richer and Leigh Nash.
“You don’t have to put Jr. after your name. It’s an optional suffix. But it is very powerful,” Wilson adds. “It carries a lot of weight in the sport of boxing, because it means you’re an extension of your father. I’m an artist now, but when I see my name on a show poster, I still look at it like a fight card.”
In the coming months, he will tour with Drake White, Charley Crockett, 49 Winchester and Joss Stone. He will also make his Red Rocks debut supporting Midland on Oct. 14. Find a full list of dates below or visit his website.
6/16: Eridge Park, Kent, UK – Black Deer Festival
6/19: London, UK – Scala *
6/21: Manchester, UK – Manchester Academy *
6/22: Glasgow, UK – SWG3 *
6/24: Gateshead, UK – Sage Gateshead *
6/25: Cambridge, UK – Cambridge Junction *
7/1: Fort Wayne, IN – The Clyde Theater &
7/4 & 7/5: Toronto, ON – The Danforth Music Hall &
7/18: Bozeman, MT – The Rialto #
7/19: Des Plaines, IL – Des Plaines Theatre %
7/21: Kemmerer, WY – Oyster Ridge Music Festival
7/22: Redmond, OR – FairWell Festival
7/22: Cleveland Heights, OH – Cain Park Evans Amphitheater %
7/25: Washington, DC – Warner Theatre %
7/26: Niagara Falls, ON – OLG Stage at Fallsview Casino %
9/3: Marietta, GA – Georgia Country Music Fest
9/14: Louisville, KY – Bourbon & Beyond
10/13: Sandy, UT – Sandy Amphitheater @
10/14: Morrison, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheatre @
* – with Drake White
& – with Charley Crockett
# – with 49 Winchester
% – with Joss Stone
@ – with Midland
Photo Courtesy: Tim Cofield