Jonathan Wilson is known as much for his recording and production work for other artists as he is for his own music, and probably because he’s always so busy in that regard it can be a long time between his own releases. His second album, 2013’s Fanfare, built strongly on the word-of-mouth momentum that propelled his solo debut Gentle Spirit into the spotlight, but for the last several years he’s been largely silent on the solo front. That doesn’t mean that he hasn’t been busy though. Fresh off of producing Father John Misty’s latest record Real Comedy and an extended time spent first playing on Roger Waters’ Is This the Life We Really Want? and then touring the world with Waters’ band, Wilson released his third album, Rare Birds, at the beginning of the month. For his first time in DC in several years (outside of the Roger Waters show last summer), Wilson brought a full band to the Rock and Roll Hotel to perform the album for a roomful of fans, many of whom have been waiting some time to see him.
Roger Waters, one of the founders of the legendary Pink Floyd, has always had a keen eye for isolation, oppression, and political justness. On his fifth solo LP, Is The The Life We Really Want?, he's turning that gaze on the United States and recruited a group of powerful "newcomers" (Johnathan Wilson, Jessica Wolfe and Holly Laessig of Lucius) to bring his stark vision of our present and future to life.
Join Kevin, Michael Kentoff (The Caribbean) and Casey Rae (The Priest They Called Him: William S. Burroughs & The Cult of Rock 'n' Roll) as they dive deep into this savage political statement, Waters career, and much much more.
Happy Birthday America.
If you were at the festival yesterday you know that bigger and better didn't even begin to cover it. The evening may have ended in a deluge, but nothing could wash away the feeling of awesome overload that was Saturday at the Newport Folk Festival. And today is going to be even bigger!
But while you're racing from tent to tent to check out all the bands you know and love, we ask once again, that you think of the little guy. Some of the very BEST performances yesterday took place at the Harbor Stage and the adjacent Museum stage,we've reason to believe that's going to hold true today - here's a few reasons why.
So you say you like that sweet sweet “Laurel Canyon Sound?” If you do (and you are heading to the Newport Folk Festival so it’s a pretty safe bet), be sure not to miss Jonathan Wilson. A musical “jack of all trades,” Mr. Wilson is equally renowned for his skills behind the glass as he is for his talents on a variety of stringed instruments. He is also an advocate of “back to basics” songcraft and a scholar of the original Laurel Canyon scene. As such, it was no surprise when the North Carolina native chose to relocate to the Canyon itself to record his debut double LP, Gentle Spirit.
Gentle Spirit was recorded over a lengthy period over time, taking shape between the myriad production gigs, jam sessions, and live shows that made up life in the Canyon. As a result of this process, the album evokes a clear sense of place, its meandering rhythms echoing the character of the recording space and Mr. Wilson’s mindset. Indeed, Gentle Spirit calls to mind the sound of the fabled artists of the Canyon’s past while carving out a unique niche for Mr. Wilson among the new practitioners of this classic style. So sit back on the grass and let Jonathan Wilson transport you from the sweltering shores of the Atlantic to the cool embrace of the Canyon.
Sounds Like: America and The Allman Brothers got it on in a van, and this is their offspring; 1976
Why you should care: Less revisionist than an extension of an era gone by, Johnson has got the chops to transport you back to a time that was far more groovy than today.
Doods! WE'RE GETTING A VAN! Thats f@#@ing right! A VAN!!! We're getting a van, and we're heading out into the desert, and we're gonna do all, and I do mean ALL of the peyote we can find. The lizard king is out there doods, and we're gonna ride the f@#@ing snake!!! IN OUR VAN!!!
Or, maybe not.