Folk artist returns genre to its social justice roots

kapoor

By BRADEN LAMMERS

When Vikesh Kapoor performs, it’s a trip back in time. And when the audience hears his lyrics, they are transported further back in time.

Singer-songwriter Kapoor will be playing his classic brand of folk Monday, Nov. 18, at Zanzabar, with Saintseneca.

In his debut album Kapoor presents “The Ballad of Willy Robbins,” which was released on Oct. 15 via Mama Bird Recording Co.

Kapoor’s tale of the ill-fated Willy Robbins follows the socially insightful folk of Woody Guthrie in theme and sound. “The Ballad of Willy Robbins” hearkens back to a day of struggling Depression-era immigrant workers highlighted in an Upton Sinclair novel, but still finds a connection to today.

The album was loosely based on a newspaper article and chronicles the brutal, but hopeful, story of a working-class man who slowly loses everything: ambitions, health, family and shelter, according to a description by Crash Avenue, Kapoor’s management agency.

Sticking to the traditionalist style of folk music, Kapoor doesn’t adopt the rock/pop influences that infiltrated other folk acts, like Avett Brothers.

Inspired after Kapoor’s brief stint as a mason’s apprentice, the album is a tale of blue-collar heartbreak and lost love. A performance at Historian Howard Zinn’s memorial service in Boston, who fought a lifelong battle against class/race injustice, prompted Kapoor to spend the next two years in Portland, Oregon working on his full-length debut record, according to Crash Avenue.

Kapoor is touring on the back of that album and will land in Louisville Monday.

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About hoosierhits
The music blog of the News and Tribune, Jeffersonville & New Albany, Ind.

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