Apparently I’m not the only one who feels this way, either. Rolling Stone hailed Gilfillian as “one of the most exciting young artists in Nashville’s burgeoning soul scene” and praised his 2018 single “Troublemaker” as a “raucous heaping of swampy soul and rock.” The track was heard during 2018 NFL Draft programming/advertising. Gilfillian performed the national anthem before Round 1 of the 2018 NFL Draft.
There’s also a healthy dose of Motown in Gilfillian’s music. You’ll see what I mean if you check out “Get Out and Get It,” which is now available for download and streaming HERE. Or you can view the static video HERE. You don’t have to listen very hard to hear echoes of Smokey Robinson in his vocals. And his soulful “Use Your Words” could have come straight out of Barry Gordy’s garage in the 1960s. But I wouldn’t say Gilfillian is copying the Motown sound - it’s more like he’s using it is the foundation for his own masterfully constructed and executed compositions.
Gilfillian, who is featured in the Frye Americana Roots campaign and was recently named as a Southwest Airlines “Artist on the Rise,” grew up outside Philadelphia and moved to Nashville to pursue music full-time. In 2016, he released his debut EP, which NPR Music said, “captures his exuberance and musical openness, setting the stage for what promises to be a brilliant career.”
After his Indy gig, Gilfillian will finish off his tour in Arlington, VA. After that, he’ll make his Newport Folk Festival debut on July 27. His other scheduled festival performances include Shaky Knees, Winnipeg Folk, Moon River and Pilgrimage. Tickets are on sale HERE.