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Jonathan Wilson’s ‘Fanfare’ is the most important album of 2013
10.28.2013
12:55 pm

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Music

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Jonathan Wilson


 
The best album of the year—as far as I’m concerned there’s no competition, nothing else even comes close—is Jonathan Wilson’s Fanfare, the follow-up to 2011’s critically acclaimed Gentle Spirit. It’s a brilliantly sculpted, painstakingly-crafted album by an artist operating at the height of his powers as a musician, songwriter, guitarist, pianist and producer—and the guy’s just getting started.

It’s like an epic novel.

Fanfare isn’t just the best album of 2013, it the year’s most important album as well. As in artistically important. As in “heavyweight” talent. Seriously, folks, it’s a motherfucker. If you’re not hip to Jonathan Wilson’s work, well, you should be. If you’re reading this, there’s no good excuse… so read on. Or better yet, forget about what I have to say and scroll down, hit play and turn it up loud.

Fanfare moves away from the “CSNY jamming with Pink Floyd” comparisons the earlier album was saddled with—this despite the contribution of some stunning vocals from David Crosby and Graham Nash, I should probably mention—into multi-layered rock symphony territory that calls to mind Beach Boy Dennis Wilson’s rock snob touchstone Pacific Ocean Blue

“‘Fanfare,’ as a word, represents a fanciful showing, a bodacious movement of energy, a celebration of sound,” Wilson explains. “Something to signify an arrival, a special occasion.  A fanfare follows no rules. In this case, it’s also the opening song, it’s the gateway for the rest of the record.”
 

 
Fanfare’s seven-minute-long title track opener begins with the sound of baby chicks being fed through an Echoplex tape delay unit and builds into a tubular bell-laden, multi-layered tone poem from the artist meant to channel the perfect love song through his piano. As a declaration of intent, it’s a powerful statement. Plus the rest of the album has to live up to this. Talk about setting the bar high for yourself.

“From the initial idea of the record, I knew I wanted a concert Steinway piano to be the centerpiece—the beating heart—of Fanfare, Wilson told me. “So naturally we found a guy on Craigslist with one for sale and bargained with him to let us rent it for the entire session.”

“I was going for this sort of ‘widescreen’ sound, a blown out vista. I wanted strings, horns, bells, vibes, voices, solos, improvisation and a full orchestra on some of the tunes… I didn’t just want ‘a’ drum sound, I wanted it to sound like Thor’s snare sound, stuff like that. Having that 9-foot Steinway was central to achieving the sound that I wanted.” Fanfare was recorded to 2” analog tape and then mixed down to ½ inch tape at Jackson’s Browne’s Groove Masters studio in Santa Monica through a Neve 8078 analog console. The recording used a live echo chamber extensively.
 

 
“Dear Friend”: It starts off like a lilting folkie sing-song and then it gets sinister. The cynical lyrics and slashing psychedelic soloing on this mind-crushing six-string duel with band member Omar Velasco would make it the perfect soundtrack to something going seriously wrong in the climactic scene of a darkly intense Hollywood thriller.
 

 
“Cecil Taylor”: This one just kills me. The guitar picking is simply stunning, but when David Crosby and Graham Nash come in, you’re listening to something truly miraculous.
 

 
“New Mexico”

Wilson told me that Brazilian artist Milton Nascimento was another major influence on Fanfare. At various times I can also hear echos of Traffic, the Dead, Laura Nyro, Atlanta Rhythm Section, Gene Clark and Tom Petty—Heartbreakers Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench guest on Fanfare, as do Jackson Browne, Josh Tillman (aka “Father John Misty”), Dawes’ Taylor Goldsmith and Wilco’s Patrick Sansone who did the incredible string arrangements of the title number. Folk legend Roy Harper contributed lyrics. It’s wide-vista, super Cinemascope music. Not too many artists have really attempted as complex an album as this one is in a long time—Kate Bush would be an obvious exception, so as you can see Wilson’s operating in rarefied company—where there’s like 64 tracks going at once. Fanfare, I predict, will become THE hi fi salesman’s go-to demo disc for the next decade.

Jonathan Wilson’s Fanfare is out through Bella Union in the UK/Europe and Downtown in the US. It’s worth mentioning that if you are a vinyl aficionado, Wilson’s records are made to exacting standards and are quite heavy things to hold in your hand. Listen to the entire album on SoundCloud:
 

 
Below, a scorching hot cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Angel” performed at the Festival des Vieilles Charrues in Carhaix on July 20th, 2013.

 
Another live cover, Happy Traum’s “Trials of Jonathan” in Carhaix

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
If you haven’t heard of Jonathan Wilson yet, you will

Why isn’t Jonathan Wilson on the cover of Guitar Player magazine? A rock snob rants

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Guitar Hero: Preview a ferocious new track from Jonathan Wilson’s upcoming ‘Fanfare’ album
08.02.2013
12:14 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Jonathan Wilson


 
Have a listen to “Dear Friend,” a blistering guitar-driven taster from Jonathan Wilson’s upcoming Fanfare (due out mid-October). If it isn’t the best song on the album, it sure is one of ‘em!

Posted yesterday by MOJO as their “Track of the Day,” the sinister cinematic vibe and slashing psychedelic soloing on this mind-crushing six-string duel with band member Omar Velasco would make it the perfect soundtrack to something going seriously wrong, in, I dunno, a climactic episode of Breaking Bad or a darkly intense Hollywood thriller.

With all of the Laurel Canyon this and Laurel Canyon that of just about every article that you read on Wilson, the sound on Fanfare has changed, significantly I think from Gentle Spirit, his widely acclaimed 2011 debut. Fanfare moves away from the “CSNY jamming with Pink Floyd” comparisons the earlier album was saddled with—this despite the contribution of some stunning vocals from David Crosby and Graham Nash, I should say—into multi-layered rock symphony territory that calls to mind Beach Boy Dennis Wilson’s rock snob touchstone Pacific Ocean Blue

The “next generation hi-fi” attention to the smallest sonic details should see the album embraced by audio enthusiasts. You want an album to demonstrate yer new (vintage) turntable and tube amp, bub? This is it. Fanfare was recorded to 2” analog tape and then mixed down to ½ inch tape at Jackson’s Browne’s Groove Masters studio in Santa Monica through a Neve 8078 analog console.

“Analog simply captures things better and it takes the edges off. It creates a beauty much like film,” Wilson says. “Fanfare is a vehicle to explore fully blown out analog production, from the strings to the hi-fi cymbal sounds. The recording used a live echo chamber extensively.”
 

Omar Velasco, left and Jonathan Wilson

Wilson told me that Brazilian artist Milton Nascimento was another major influence on Fanfare. At various times I can also hear echos of Traffic, the Dead, Laura Nyro, Atlanta Rhythm Section, Gene Clark and Tom Petty—Heartbreakers Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench guest on Fanfare, as do Jackson Browne, Josh Tillman (aka “Father John Misty”), Dawes’ Taylor Goldsmith and Wilco’s Patrick Sansone who did the incredible string arrangements of the title number. Folk legend Roy Harper contributed lyrics. It’s wide-vista, super Cinemascope music. Not too many artists have really attempted as complex an album as this one is in a long time—Kate Bush would be an obvious exception, so as you can see Wilson’s operating in rarefied company—where there’s like 64 tracks going at once. Fanfare, I predict, will become THE hi fi salesman’s go-to demo disc for the next decade. It’s a motherfucker.

Gentle Spirit, Wilson’s 2011 debut, saw Uncut magazine declare him to be their best “new artist of the year” and MOJO rated it #4 on their year end best albums list. It’s most certainly my own favorite album from 2011 and from the vantage point of this second day of August, I’d have to declare Fanfare, so far, to be the most important release of this year and it’s not even out yet. You can quote me on that: “Jonathan Wilson’s Fanfare is the most important album of 2013.”

Yep, I’m so nuts over this album that I just feel sorry for everyone who has to wait another two and a half months until it’s released. In the meantime, enjoy “Dear Friend.” Jonathan Wilson’s Fanfare comes out on October 14 through Bella Union in the UK/Europe and Downtown in the US.
 

 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Why isn’t Jonathan Wilson on the cover of Guitar Player magazine? A rock snob rants
06.22.2013
06:29 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Jonathan Wilson


Poster art by Kii Arens.

Jonathan Wilson and his band played an extraordinary set at Largo in Los Angeles last night. Well, actually it was two extraordinary sets, with an intermission between them. And with a five piece string section in addition to his five member band. There were a lot of people (and guitars) on Largo’s cramped stage Friday night and the intimate theater was packed with pretty rabid JW fans, not casual attendees.

Personally, I was psyched. I’d been looking forward to the show all day.

I’ve seen Jonathan Wilson play four times in the past year and each show has been radically different. At a gig during SXSW, it was like watching Neil Young and Crazy Horse at the top of their game at the Fillmore (I was so into it that I got really drunk, something I never do). At a Venice beach dive bar warm-up gig to break in a new player prior to touring Europe with Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, there was a loose, improvisational “jam band” feel to the proceedings. In Pomona earlier this month, opening for Tame Impala, Wilson and his group did a full on moody, brooding “his brain is squirming like a toad” psych-rock set complete with some of the most blistering guitar soloing I’ve heard in years.

Last night, though, was completely different. Throughout most of the relaxed, at-home-among-friends set, Wilson and everyone else remained seated, save for the bass player who seemed so into it that sitting down probably would have caused him physical discomfort. One consistent element in Wilson’s remarkably varied live shows is the palpable level of psychic communication and improvisational interplay that goes on among the band members. These motherfuckers are simultaneously deeply concentrating as well as losing themselves in what they are communally creating. There’s an ecstatic music being made and it was obvious from the band and the string section’s facial expressions that they were all deeply feeling it.

The perspective from the audience? It was like having gold poured into your ears.

I expected a really great show. It was one.

The sonic palette that Wilson and his band draws from includes Pink Floyd, CSNY, Radiohead, Bob Seger, Dire Straits, The Allman Brothers, The Eagles, Shuggie Otis and so forth, and yes, the musicianship is at that exalted level, too. What he does with these influences, making music which although “familiar” and surely “authentic” sounding—not only does Wilson record to analog tape, he makes his own guitars—is never derivative.

And this brings me to what pisses me off. Although Jonathan Wilson is a critical darling and has seen his music warmly received in Europe, especially in Great Britain where MOJO, Uncut and the BBC all ranked his Gentle Spirit album in their year end “Best of” short lists for 2011 just weeks after its release—he was even Uncut’s New Artist of the Year—he is STILL underrated in America to the point of being woefully under-appreciated.

Seriously America! WTF?

But why hasn’t Guitar Player magazine, for instance, heard of Jonathan Wilson? I know they have to put Jimi Hendrix or Keith Richards—one’s dead, the other can barely still play—on every cover to move magazines, but the editors appear to be blissfully unaware of one of the finest American musicians of his generation. How can this be? Wilson’s a “guitar hero” on the level of David Gilmour or Stephen Stills. He’s the real deal. He even used to MAKE (highly collectible) guitars. A search of their website brought up zero results for Jonathan Wilson.

During a shit-hot performance of Gordon Lightfoot’s “The Way I Feel” in Pomona that turned into an electrifying extended jam, one of my friends leaned over and said “He’s got to be the best guitarist in America right now” I think so, too (and his six-string lieutenant Omar Velasco is no slouch, either). Where’s Guitar Player’s love for Jonathan Wilson? Non-existent! They should send him flowers when they realize who they’ve been passively dissing (Note to Guitar Player’s editors: In ten years Jonathan Wilson is going to be one of your perennial cover boys, just like Keef and Jimi are today. You heard it here first, okay? You’re welcome!)

And is Rolling Stone giving Wilson the attention he deserves beyond mentioning him in passing or in connection with the rock elders like Graham Nash, Bob Weir, Jacksone Brown and Elvis Costello who want Jonathan’s magic to rub off on them? Nope. (Note to Jann Wenner…)

And neither is Pitchfork, who didn’t even bother reviewing Gentle Spirit. I guess you can be Uncut’s Best New Artist of 2011, but that doesn’t mean jack shit in America? When I wrote “If you haven’t heard of Jonathan Wilson yet, you will,” in January of 2012, I didn’t think I’d be writing practically the same damned thing a year and a half later. You’d have to go back as far as Sparks to name another so quintessentially American act so acclaimed in England and yet so obscure at home.

Weirdly, the same mainstream media outlets that go nuts for acts Wilson has produced and recorded (Dawes, Father John Misty) don’t bother covering him. In many ways, he’s currently the sun of a certain sort of Southern California classic rock revival’s universe (centered around his Five Star Studios and all star hootenanny jam sessions) although you’d never know it. Even normally pretty on top of it local publications like the LA WEEKLY and the Los Angeles Times have barely covered Wilson’s musical orbit, which is at least as important as the Stone’s Throw, Brainfeeder, Low End Theory and Odd Future scenes are.

The point of my rant here, is that there is this new guy in town, except he’s been here for a while now and he’s the real fucking deal. Old fucks always want to complain that music isn’t as good as it used to be, and even if I tend to agree with that myself, when something amazing and instantly canonical comes along, it needs to be championed and shared. It used to be that we had the likes of Lester Bangs to hip us to good music, but when the filters fail, we need to help each other find the gems in a world of dross.

Every single friend of mine who I have pestered to listen to Jonathan Wilson, 100% of ‘em, have become huge fans. I put it to you, Dangerous Minds reader, that you, too, might want to give Gentle Spirit a spin (especially if you’re into Father John Misty’s excellent Fear Fun album, which has Wilson all over it). And if you like it, and I think you will, you’ll be telling your friends about the music of Jonathan Wilson, too.

Wilson and his band leave next week for a gig supporting Neil Young and the summer Euro festivals. His new album will be coming out in the fall and he’ll probably be playing live around the country in support. Don’t pass up a chance to see him live.
 

 
Above, while this live version of Gordon Lightfoot’s “The Way I Feel” is much different from the extended workout the song got in Pomona (as described above) but it’s close enough to get the point across.

After the jump, two full pro-shot Jonathan Wilson sets.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Never mind the Rolling Stones, Tame Impala & Jonathan Wilson to tour West Coast
05.06.2013
06:19 am

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Music

Tags:
Jonathan Wilson
Tame Impala


 
Jonathan Wilson and his band have confirmed a short run of dates with Aussie acid rockers Tame Impala. It’s a West Coast sprint, but you’ll be able to smell the psychedelic exhaust fumes from this pairing all the way to NYC. 

5/26 - Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom
5/27 - Vancouver, BC @ The Commodore Ballroom
5/29 - Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater
5/30 - Pomona, CA @ Fox Theater
5/31 - San Diego, CA @ House of Blues

There’s a special acoustic Jonathan Wilson show with a string section at Largo in Los Angeles planned for June 21. 

I can’t wait to hear “Desert Raven” with live strings. Looking forward to this.
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Tame Impala’s psychedelic sex trip

If you haven’t heard of Jonathan Wilson yet, you will

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Jonathan Wilson live: ‘Like Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young jamming with Pink Floyd’
01.07.2013
03:11 pm

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Music

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Jonathan Wilson


 
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.
 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Special, intimate Jonathan Wilson gig tonight in Los Angeles
05.28.2012
12:34 pm

Topics:
Music

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Jonathan Wilson


 
Tonight, if you are lucky enough to be in Los Angeles (I love saying that) Jonathan Wilson and his band will be playing a very special show for family and friends in Venice, CA at the Del Monte Speakeasy.

This intimate performance will be the band’s last show stateside before beginning their summer-long European tour with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. Highly recommended.

No cover, but space is very limited. Doors at 9. Music at 9:30.

The Del Monte Speakeasy, 52 Windward Ave., Venice, CA. 21+

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
If you haven’t heard of Jonathan Wilson yet, you will

Jonathan Wilson live at SXSW, a Dangerous Minds Exclusive

Below, the video for “Desert Raven” from Jonathan Wilson’s critically acclaimed Gentle Spirit album.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Father John Misty: David Lynch meets Sam Peckinpah in ‘This is Sally Hatchet’
05.25.2012
12:20 pm

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Music

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Father John Misty
Jonathan Wilson


Art by Dimitri Drjuchin

New video from Father John Misty’s critically acclaimed Fear Fun album on Sub Pop Records.

I have no idea what the fuck is going on here—although the final moments make the intention a little bit clearer… I think—but I like it.

Knowing Josh Tillman, I don’t really wonder what kind of mushrooms are topping his pizza and neither will you when you watch this…

Directed and produced by Grant James. A divine guitar solo courtesy of Jonathan Wilson comes in at the 2:30 mark.

Click here for more Father John Misty on Dangerous Minds
 

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Jonathan Wilson live at SXSW: A Dangerous Minds exclusive
03.23.2012
12:39 pm

Topics:
Music

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Jonathan Wilson


Photo: Mirgun Akyavas

Uncut magazine’s 2011 New Artist of the Year, Jonathan Wilson, is already making a pretty big name for himself in Europe. Coming into SXSW in support of his critically acclaimed Gentle Spirit album (#4 in Mojo’s Top 50 albums of 2011), Wilson and his band performed some of the standout shows of the festival, including a blistering set at the Hotel San Jose and the Bella Union showcase at the Continental Club, where one attendee was over-heard describing an onstage guitar duel as “Like being at the Fillmore East in 1969 and I was there!”

Wilson has been referred to as “the new king of Laurel Canyon,” although he now lives and works in the Eagle Rock section of Los Angeles. Prior to his almost instantaneous critical acclain in England when Gentle Spirit came out last Fall, Wilson was a much in-demand perfectionist music producer. Old-timers like David Crosby, Jackson Browne, Robbie Robertson, Elvis Costello and Graham Nash all want to buddy up to Wilson, hoping some of his magic rubs off on them. 

I’ve raved about Jonathan Wilson’s music here in the past:
If you haven’t heard of Jonathan Wilson yet, you will .

Buy Gentle Spirit on Amazon.

In the video below, Jonathan Wilson and Omar Velasco perform “Ballad of the Pines,” “Can We Really Party Today” and “Rolling Universe” during SXSW.
 

 
Wilson and his band take the stage and launch into their first number at the Hotel San Jose last Saturday in Austin. They were so shit-hot I felt like I was levitating. The best crew of “musicians’ musicians” I’ve seen on a stage in the past decade, other than, say, Joe Jackson’s band or Roger Waters’ touring band. The musicianship is incredibly high here. Bill Murray was in the audience, too.

Video shot by Dangerous Minds’ Marc Campbell.
 

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Dangerous Minds at SXSW



Austin street art. Photo credit: Mirgun Akyavas
 
Greetings from sunny Austin, TX. Well at least it’s supposed to be sunny today and tomorrow, but never mind that persistant pouring rain, Dangerous Minds will be covering the SXSW music festival all this week. I got in last Thursday and Marc Campbell and I have been roaming around Austin trying to take it all in and report back about a little of what’s going on here. It’s a loud, colorful food truck-strewn chaos of a city right now, that’s for sure. Every single square inch of Austin seems to have some sort of corporate branding.

I’ve eaten some great food, seen some amazing films and soon enough the music part of the festival wil start. In the coming days, we’ll be bringing you movie premieres (Small Apartments with Matt Lucas and Johnny Knoxville, the epic new Bob Marley documentary, the charming Grandma Low-Fi, the Bad Brains doc and many more), interviews with Indian Rope, Cloud Nothings, Daytrotter’s Sean Moeller and some “unplugged sessions” that have been scheduled with Jonathan Wilson,Father John Misty, Jenny O, Bee vs. Moth, Madi Diaz, Chelsea Wolfe, Poor Moon and the premiere of a new music video from Bay Area druid spacerockers Lumerians.

Click here to see Mirgun Akyavas’ photo gallery of Austin street art.

More music and film coverage at Tap Into Austin 2012.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
If you haven’t heard of Jonathan Wilson yet, you will
01.09.2012
06:46 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Jonathan Wilson


 
Last year, I read Barney Hoskyns’ excellent history of the Laurel Canyon music scene of the 1970s, Hotel California (thank you Paul Gallagher!) and through its pages, I ducked into a folk-rock rabbit hole that I’m not even close to wanting to move on from. In this past year the albums in the speed rack have been by CSNY (especially the “Y” but David Crosby’s godlike If I Could Only Remember My Name, in particular), the Byrd who could not fly, Gene Clark (I simply cannot get enough of his No Other masterpiece. If it was chocolate, I’d eat it until I got sick, then keep eating), Judee Sill, The Flying Burrito Brothers and the criminally overlooked Michael Nesmith.

The other thing I’ve been listening to recently is 70s Pink Floyd. I mention all this by way of trying to impart that I was quite ready to receive what Jonathan Wilson’s Gentle Spirit album has to offer.

Although Jonathan Wilson has become quite the critical darling in the UK—his debut album Gentle Spirit ranked #16 on Uncut’s year end best of list and #4 on MOJO’s—his profile is much lower in his native US. Wilson was also Uncut’s 2011 New Artist of the Year, but I haven’t even seen a review on Pitchfork yet.

I can’t imagine that it will be too much longer before Wilson’s fellow countrymen start to catch up to his prodigious talents. Wilson is “the new king of Laurel Canyon” (although he now lives and works in Eagle Rock). Prior to his almost instantaneous critical acclain in England when Gentle Spirit came out in August, Wilson was a much in-demand perfectionist music producer who records everything on analog tape (the recording studio equivalent of a master guild craftsman in these days of Pro Tools). He knew exactly how to make whatever “classic rock” sound he wanted to before this album came about (it took four years to record) and the results are familiar-sounding—and notably “authentic”—but still wholly original performances.

I’m not one to go in much for top ten lists, but if I did Gentle Spirit would certainly be in my top five albums for 2011, if not my top two (Not coincidentally, the other album, by J. Tillman (Fleet Foxes), was produced by Wilson, but it’s not out until May, so more on that later).

I’ve pushed Gentle Spirit repeatedly on all of my rock snob friends. Wilson is a musician’s musician. The real deal. Guys like David Crosby, Jackson Browne, Robbie Robertson, Elvis Costello and Graham Nash all want to buddy up to Wilson, hoping some of his magic rubs off on them. The great Roy Harper invited Wilson to perform at his 70th birthday bash in November at the Royal Festival Hall.

Did I mention that I really, really love this 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.

Exhibit A, the music video for “Natural Rhapsody” directed by Michael Graham:
 

 
And here’s the one that will really slay you, “Desert Raven,” which will be forever stuck in your head before it’s even finished playing.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment