CHS grad Wilbanks to bring “Back Porch Soul”  to GEM Theatre on Saturday, June 10

After releasing self-titled album in April, BJ Wilbanks begins tour; set to rock the GEM beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Southern rock musician and Calhoun native BJ Wilbanks is bringing his signature blend of rich soul, mellow R&B and vintage rock to the GEM Theatre on Saturday, June 10 for a hometown album release show. 

 Wilbanks, who graduated from Calhoun High School in 2003 and was a member of the football team, released his self-titled album on April 28. He has previously released an EP titled “Moonshine on the Vine” and the singles “Hold Down Your Happiness” and “Everything She Wants.”

 The sound of his new album has been described as “Back Porch Soul.” It encompasses elements of Americana, Delta Blues and Motown and is inspired by the 70’s rock, gospel and blues that he grew up listening to.

 “My music makes you feel something in your soul,” Wilbanks said. “My goal is to derive some raw emotion from the person listening. I want them to be able to move or feel something deep inside, without having to try hard to do so.”

 Wilbanks has appeared on “The Boot” and “American Songwriter,” among other major music outlets. His new album has received glowing reviews from a variety of music publications.

 “I just try to take music back to its roots,” Wilbanks said. “Songs used to be simple, and they made you think. With this album and during my shows, I just try and translate a feeling that I’ve had with the audience and have a shared experience.”

He is currently in the midst of a tour to debut his album, but noted he is particularly thrilled to share his craft with his hometown at the GEM Theatre.

 “Being able to reconnect to the community through my music is such a special occasion,” Wilbanks said. “I’ve grown so much as person, and I’m excited to be able to share that progress with the people I grew up with. Being around the people I love is the most important part of all of this.”

 The show will open up with performances from prominent Calhoun natives Cheyenne Medders and Brandon McDaniel.

 Doors for the show open at 6:45 p.m., with the performances scheduled to start at 7:30.

 Premium tickets on rows 1-3 are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Regular tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Tickets can be purchased at the GEM Theatre Box Office on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4-6 p.m., or online at

 For more information about Wilbanks, or to preview some of his music before the show, visit

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