Yahoo Music recently posted a fucking fantastic full-length performance from Jonathan Wilson and his band that was shot at Bob Weir‘s TRI Studios in Marin County, California during “Move Me Brightly,” a tribute to Jerry Garcia in honor of what would have been his 70th birthday. It’s sixty-five minutes of pure rock snob bliss taped in August of 2012.
Almost exactly a year ago, in a post called If you haven’t heard of Jonathan Wilson yet, you will, I wrote of his then-new Gentle Spirit album:
Trying to describe music in words is like doing a sketch of a novel, but Wilson’s guitar can exhibit the inventiveness and precision of Stephen Stills or the fiery, almost architectural lines of Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour, often in the same song. It’s been said that his music sounds like CSNY jamming with Pink Floyd and this is, I think you’ll agree, quite an accurate description. Another way to get your head around Gentle Spirit is that it often sounds like a “Southern California” version of Radiohead.
Of all of the hundreds of shows I’ve seen in my time, the ones that stand out the most for the sheer quality of the musicianship and the psychic mind-meld interplay between the musicians, I’d have to say that the finest ensembles, the ones who really stood apart, were the players backing Roger Waters, Joe Jackson and Gordon Lightfoot. I would certainly add Jonathan Wilson’s band to that short list. They are musician’s musicians.
This is one of the best live bands playing anywhere in the world. The recording here is top notch, too. Dig the chime of those guitars!
Right before Christmas, Jonathan Wilson organized a “goodwill jam-a-thon” at the Troubadour in Los Angeles with Jackson Browne, Bob Weir, ELO’s Jeff Lynne and Heartbreakers Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench, billed as the “Merry Minstrel Musical Circus.” The four-hour-long show was a benefit concert for Little Kids Rock (an organization that supplies instruments to schools) and the Tazzy Animal Rescue Fund.
Wilson put out an EP titled Pity Trials and Tomorrow’s Child for the last Record Store Day which is now available digitally from Amazon or iTunes. The EP contains a cover of George Harrison’s “Isn’t It A Pity” with backing vocals by Graham Nash.