Joe Wilkins is an experienced session guitarist, composer and teacher. Although his roots are firmly set in Blues, Soul and Americana, the eclectic range of musical styles that he's covered throughout his own projects, and as a sideman, has earned him a reputation as a unique and diverse musician.
Joe started playing guitar at the age of 13, but it wasn't until a year later when he was introduced to the 'The Last Waltz' film featuring 'The Band', that he fell in love with music. At 15 he became a regular guest guitarist with some of the well-known local blues artists, playing in pubs and clubs around Bristol. He recalls how at one such gig he was chased out of the venue by staff after they discovered his age.
Since 2014 Joe has been writing, recording and touring internationally with the Blues and Americana fuelled singer-songwriter Elles Bailey. Joe co-wrote the title track to her debut album ‘Wildfire’ which has had well over a million streams on Spotify, was play-listed on Planet Rock for 10 weeks and received BBC Radio Two support. The album, recorded at Black Bird Studios in Nashville, saw Joe trading guitar licks with session legends Brent Mason and Chris Leuzinger, as well as playing alongside Wes Little, Mike Brignardello and storied Memphis Giant Bobby Wood.
He also features on Elles' recently released number one selling second album 'Road I Call Home', including both singles - 'Medicine Man' & 'What's The Matter With You', which have both received support from Cerys Matthews and Bob Harris on BBC Radio Two. This also led to Joe appearing live on BBC Radio London and Bob Harris' 'Under The Apple Tree' sessions.
As a sideman, Joe has also worked with Nashville artists such as Angel Snow (on 3 UK tours), Don Gallardo, Amy McCarley and Texas songsmith Guthrie Kennard; plus, UK artists Phil King, Pete Gage, Katey Brooks, Jolle Moses, Kirris Riviere, Liam Cromby, Robbie Cavanagh, Demi Marriner, Will Purdue, Tammy Payne, and Brit & Mobo award winner Shola Ama.
For 3 years running Joe has been part of Bristol's annual Jazz and Blues Festival as a member of the Bristol Bluesmen with sell-out shows at the Colston Hall and the Anson Rooms.
Joe also features in the funk outfit 'Mohawkestra'. Signed to Reed Records and with 6 singles released to date, they have garnered support from Craig Charles on BBC 6 Music, and their collaborative single with Bristols 'Boca45' was featured as 'Beat of the week' on Huey Morgan’s BBC 6 Music show.
In 2013, Joe co-founded the rock band Temple Kings, which went on to release 4 singles and their debut album 'Ode To The Stars' in 2015.
Joe is a member of Jazz/Alt-Rock band Sefrial, who’s self-titled debut album was released in March 2020 receiving rave reviews from some of Europes top Jazz publications. This includes London Jazz News who said - “Splendidly moody … fascinating instrumental music that fans of Get the Blessing or Polar Bear might relish, and make an equally strong impression. There are hooks, interesting textures, adroit changes of pace, and unflashily excellent playing … a band to look out for.”
Since 2008, he has taught both one-to-one and group lessons, as well as in schools. In 2012 he recorded 6 video lesson series for Pro Music Tutor, alongside artists such as Pee Wee Ellis (James Brown, Van Morrison) and Micky Moody (Whitesnake).