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.