By Ian Bremner
Some of the Los Angeles’ best songwriters and artists have been lined up to work with Jonathan Wilson. His sound can be heard through many of Southern California’s airwaves and dusty corners. Dawes, Father John Misty, Lana Del Rey, Conor Oberst, Roger Waters have all enlisted Wilson’s help on more than one occasion. He has been one of the most desired producers in the city of angels for the better part of a decade. His solo material is a blend of vintage electronics, psychedelia dreamscapes, singer/songwriter, and the general spirit of Laurel Canyon.
Relatively hot on the heels of his 2018 album Rare Birds, which saw him venture more into electronic synths, Wilson changed things up all over again. For the new record, and per the advice of Steve Earle, Wilson went to Nashville and compiled an impressive all-star band for some studio time at the legendary Jack Clement studio. There, fiddler player Mark O’Connor, guitarist Kenny Vaughan, bassist Dennis Crouch, Russ Pahl on the pedal steel, Jim Hoke on harmonica, Jon Radford on drums, and Drew Erickson on the keys carefully crafted lush, country and western songs.
Wilson wished to create a classic studio sessions-type record. With new songs that lent themselves nicely to a more southern sensibility, the opportunity was there for him to “go country” in a sense. Country as only Wilson could, of course with long, lush arrangements with subtle, yet complex intricacies as usual. Growing up in North Carolina, southern music was certainly nothing new, but leaning heavily into the fiddle and pedal steel was a new concept for Jonathan Wilson’s sound. Previous work like Fanfare and Gentle Spirit feels open airy and comforting, but with more emphasis on stretched, lush sounds bordering on hallucination. Dixi Blur, by comparison feels lighter and gentler, yet equally precise.
Listen to Dixi Blur via spotify
Listen/Watch video for ’69 Corvette
Listen to Koren Tea