the gentle genius of jonathan wilson

12 Sep

i had barely heard of singer-songwriter/producer/multi-instrumentalist jonathan wilson until an advance of his album gentle spirit showed up a few weeks ago. wilson’s debut is being released tomorrow on bella union. after flexing the brain cells a bit i remembered his name on a couple of dawes albums and sure enough, wilson’s credited with producing, recording and mixing those records. then it all sort of came together; he’s worked with erykah badu, johnathan rice, robbie robertson, autumn defense, vetiver, elvis costello, jackson browne and j. tillman of fleet foxes. wilson’s been in the middle of the laurel canyon/echo park music scene for a number of years now and has somehow managed to create an epic 2011 record eloquently located in 60’s and 70’s psychedelic folk/rock.

on the album, wilson is joined andy cabic and otto hauser of vetiver, chris robinson, bassist gerald johnson (steve miller band, les dudek, cs&n), gary louris and other to craft one of the warmest, most beautiful and most musical albums i’ve heard this year. it’s recalls the beauty of van morrison’s astral weeks, the 60’s eclecticism of steve miller’s and quicksilver messenger’s self-titled debut. the album shows a lot of flexibility especially on songs like “natural rhapsody” he draws on the psychedelia of pink floyd and the lusterous moments of radiohead’s ok computer. this one’s a beauty and highly recommended.

download: Rolling Universe – Jonathan Wilson

2 Responses to “the gentle genius of jonathan wilson”

  1. Sam C September 12, 2011 at 2:01 pm #

    I have been listening to Jonathan for about 5 years now. A friend burned me a copy of City Songs and Country Songs (Yes, I am going to buy them as soon as Jonathan sets up his store on his website and I bought Frankie Ray) and I was hooked. You can safely classify him as psychedelic folk rock but when you tear into his catalog you will discover that it is only a platter on which he serves a variety of sounds. In my humble opinion Jonathan is the next legendary songwriter whom we will speak of with reverence along side Paul Simon, Lennon, Dylan, and others. I met him at the Troubadour opening for Vetiver in 2008. He was brilliant, shy, and genuinely flattered when I told him I specifically came from out of state to see him play.

    • safekindofhigh October 24, 2012 at 5:39 pm #

      His lyrics are complete genius. Only discovered him this year and managed to catch him live – even better! Everyone I meet who loves music, it’s this guys name I have to pass on…

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