Arts Performing Arts

Music Feature: Chris Wilhelm

This Too Shall Pass

Asheville singer/songwriter Chris Wilhelm recently debuted his seventh album, This Too Shall Pass, in a socially distanced show held outdoors at Isis Music Hall. The title track on the album is one of four written since the pandemic began. “Being forced to spend time at home was great for creativity,” he says.

Wilhelm gathers inspiration from classic and newer artists as well as from motivational and inspirational books, recordings and videos. “My music is a blend of acoustic singer/songwriter folk rock,” he says, “but not limited to that.” He lists Wayne Dyer among those who have helped him concentrate on messages of hope in his songs. “For a long time, my music has been my salvation because I experienced some pretty tough things in my childhood that I did my best to block out for years,” he says. “But if we don’t face the upsets lurking inside us, we can’t heal.”

With the songs of Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and Elvis playing at home and a visit to a radio station that amazed him, Wilhelm fell in love with music at an early age. “My first band cut out cardboard guitars, performed on the lawn and was featured in the local paper,” he says. “When I was 13, my parents bought me my first electric guitar and I absolutely loved it. I taught myself to play and I started writing and recording my own songs on a small boom box on cassette tapes.”

Wilhelm sings main vocals and plays piano and acoustic guitar on the album. Backing him up are musicians Chris Rosser, Joshua Maddox, Debrissa McKinney, Matt Smith, Zack Page and Asher Leigh. “This album is about letting ourselves feel the anguish,” Wilhelm says. “These songs dig deep and are very special to me.”

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