His final CD (also available on vinyl LP, btw)... excellent as always. RIP to the Mississippi gospel musician who passed away this summer during the pandemic.
GONER RECORDS re: this very special posthumous release:
“I had been thinking about writing the song ‘Trouble’ for some time,” says Reverend Wilkins. “We all have troubles, and over the last few years it seemed like every time I turned on the TV or picked up a paper there was a school shooting. There were people hurting others, hurting themselves. In the White House there were troubles, nearly nothing getting fixed, leading to more trouble. And look where we are now. But we will find a way…I just needed to find a stanky beat!”
Though born in Memphis, the Reverend John Wilkins is a legendary figure in the North Mississippi Hill Country, preaching for the last three decades at Hunters Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Como, MS. Wilkins – who is currently at home recuperating after a two-month battle with COVID-19 – grew up surrounded by country, gospel, andblues, inspired by his community and by his father, legendary gospel blues singer- turned-preacher Robert Wilkins, known for such milestone records as “That’s No WayTo Get Along” (later renamed “Prodigal Son” and famously covered by The Rolling Stones on 1968’s BEGGARS BANQUET). Following in his father’s footsteps, Wilkins walked the line between the sacred and the secular, playing guitar with the M&N Gospel Singers for 20 years while also sitting in on such landmark Memphis recordings as O.V. Wright’s 1965 classic, “You’re Gonna Make Me Cry.”
In 1985, Wilkins followed his father’s call to ministry by becoming resident pastor at Hunter’s Chapel in Como, MS, leading a congregation that has included generations of North Mississippi musicians, from Othar Turner and Napolian Strickland to the Hill Country’s own Mississippi Fred McDowell. Having devoted much of his life to the church, Wilkins finally made his long-awaited solo debut in 2015 with the acclaimed YOU CAN’T HURRY GOD, showcasing his fingerpicking, rural blues style and remarkable vocal power.
With TROUBLE, Wilkins has crafted an even more potent collection, infused with a
lifetime of knowledge and experience garnered in the birthplace of Black music in
America. Stirring tracks like “Wade In The Water,” “The Darkest Hour” (originally
performed by Ralph Stanley), and Bill Withers’ “Grandma’s Hands” see him fusing blues and gospel to create a distinctly individual music marked by both a deep regional connection and sense of universal humanity, a luminous and uplifting approach that feels all the more necessary in our currently chaotic world.
“Gave God some praise,” Wilkins told Memphis’ WREG, “‘cause he been good to me.”
Down Home Church
You Can’t Hurry God
Wade In The Water
Walk With Me
God Is Able
The Darkest Hour
I’ve Got Something
Storm and Rain