Despite falling in love with his track “Desert Raven” when it was offered as Today’s Top Tune, I didn’t get a chance to dig in to Jonathan Wilson’s new album “Gentle Spirit” until the holiday break.
And gentle it is. I listened to it while camped in the sand down at the beach and if you could capture the sound of a bird soaring effortlessly through the air over the ocean, it would sound like this record. He’s not afraid to take his time with a song and many of them have long instrumental openers and clock in at over 8 minutes, like “Desert Raven”.
Nature is a theme throughout the record and the sonic influences are straight from the late ‘60s/early ‘70s so it’s no surprise to hear it was mostly recorded in a studio in LA’s fabled Laurel Canyon (before he relocated hi studio to Echo Park).
The record was four years in the making and his solo debut, but he’s not new to music by any means. As a producer he has added his special touch to a number of recordings including albums by LA’s own Dawes, as well as music veterans Jackson Browne and Robbie Robertson.
He rounded up friends like Johnathan Rice (of Jenny & Johnny), Andy Cabic of Vetiver and Chris Robinson of the Black Crow to contribute to “Gentle Spirit”.
Here’s another treat, “Can We Really Party Tonight”.