Wilson’s music is steeped equally in the woodsy contours of his Blue Ridge experiences and the atmospheric guitar reveries of Neil Young and Quicksilver Messenger Service. In fact, “Gentle Spirit” is remarkably evocative of that golden late ‘60s, early '70s period when rural and urban sensibilities colluded in producing some of rock’s most imperishable recordings.
Wilson, a native of Forest City, North Carolina, has been quietly earning a reputation as a musical jack-of-all-trades. He is adept behind the recording console, possesses a luthier’s knowledge of all things strummed, and maintains the innate ability to conceptualize an instrument essential to providing the right colour to a track in need of a defining detail. Whether working with promising new acts like the band Dawes, celebrated contemporary artists such as Erykah Badu and Elvis Costello, or Rock and Roll Hall of Famers such as Jackson Browne and Robbie Robertson, Wilson provides direction and support as tasty and soulful as anyone in the business today.
“The Highlights are many. Wilson has shaped a delicious future” - **** Mojo
“Ravishing surprisingly transcendent” - **** Uncut
- Gentle Spirit
- Can We Really Party Today?
- Desert Raven
- Canyon In The Rain
- Natural Rhapsody
- Ballad Of The Pines
- The Way I Feel
- Don’t Give Your Heart To A Rambler
- Woe Is Me
- Waters Down
- Rolling Universe
- Magic Everywhere
- Valley Of The Silver Moon
by Declan Murphy, Readings St Kilda
Having garnered an impressive reputation as a producer and gun musician for hire, Jonathan Wilson has delivered an incredibly assured and frankly at times gob-smacking debut with Gentle Spirit. Hailing from North Carolina but now residing in the infamous Laurel Canyon, Wilson is clearly a man who likes to soak up his surroundings. The canyon circa 1972 is all over this record (check out the totally gnarly artwork!) and the spirits of everyone from CSNY, Jackson Browne and Pink Floyd echo with glorious reverence through Wilson’s tunes. With such epics as Desert Raven and Natural Rhapsody the overall mood is mellow to say the least but it’s Wilson’s vision, sheer ambition, impeccable production and the all-star musical talent on display that make this record transcend pastiche and work in such a spectacular way. I’d been reading great things about this record in the UK music mags months ago and feared it would be one more great piece of work denied a local release but lo and behold … Highly, highly recommended and can’t wait for the vinyl.
Declan Murphy is from Readings St Kilda
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