Album Release

JONATHAN WILSON

Dixie Blur

Bella Union [PIAS] - distribuzione Self - 06 marzo 2020

Jonathan Wilson annuncia oggi il nuovo album Dixie Blur in uscita il 06 marzo su Bella Union [PIAS]. L’acclamato artista, produttore e polistrumentista (Father John Misty, Laura Marling, Dawes) ha trascorso il 2018 in viaggio con Roger Waters per il tour US + THEM, in qualità di direttore musicale, chitarrista e voce, cantando le parti di David Gilmour. Dopo il tour, decise di lasciare temporaneamente la sua casa e il suo studio di Los Angeles per trasferirsi a Nashville. Qui, insieme ad una serie di musicisti e al co-produttore Pat Sansone dei Wilco, creò Dixie Blur, il suo album più personale e accessibile di sempre.

Per comprendere a fondo il sound di Dixie Blur, ascolta “So Alive” e “Korean Tea”. Il video per il recente singolo “69 Corvette”, mostra dei filmati tratti dalle sessioni di registrazione in studio, ma anche delle scene personali della sua infanzia che aiutano ad illustrare la storia di Dixie Blur. Nato nel North Carolina, Jonathan si trasferì a Los Angeles 15 anni fa, dove divenne presto un artista e produttore di tutto rispetto e parte integrante della comunità. A Los Angeles registrò i suoi acclamati album Gentle Spirit (2011), Fanfare (2013) e Rare Birds (2018).

Sia per la scrittura che per le registrazioni di Dixie Blur, Wilson ha adottato un metodo completamente diverso. I brani si rifanno alle sue radici southern, sia dal punto di vista musicale che da quello personale. A Nashville Wilson ha registrato al Sound Emporium Studio di Cowboy Jack Clement in compagnia di una serie di turnisti?tra i più leggendari in circolazione: Mark O’Connor (violino), Kenny Vaughan (chitarra) Dennis Crouch (basso), Russ Pahl (pedal steel) and Jim Hoke (armonica, legni), Jon Radford (batteria), and Drew Erickson (tastiere). Insieme hanno registrato in presa diretta con pochissime sovraincisioni. Infine Jonathan ha mixato l’album al Groovemasters Studio di Jackson Browne. Il risultato è un album sorprendente, ricco di brani caldi, ponderati e melodiosi che hanno un impatto immediato, ma che crescono mano a mano che li si ascolta.

Con Dixie Blur Jonathan Wilson trova magistralmente un compromesso unendo la musica con il quale è cresciuto ad un approccio ricco di trame moderne e paesaggi sonori estetici.

Tra marzo e aprile Wilson partirà per un tour europeo che include una data allla nuova venue londinese Lafayette.

Friday?27th March – Amsterdam – Het Zonnehuis
Saturday?28th March – Maastricht, NL – Muziekgieterij
Sunday?29th March – Paris, FR – Trabendo
Tuesday 31st March – Copenhagen, DE – Lille Vega
Wednesday 1st April – Oslo, NO – Centrum Scene
Thursday?2nd April – Stockholm, SE – Slaktkyrkan
Friday?3rd April – Gothenberg, SE – Pustervik
Sunday?5th April – Berlin, DE – Silent Green
Monday?6th April – Brussels, BE – Botanique / Rotonde
Wednesday 8th April – London, UK?–?Lafayette

Dixie Blue tracklist:
1. Just For Love
2. ’69 Corvette
3. New Home
4. So Alive
5. In Heaven Making Love
6. Oh Girl
7. Pirate
8. Enemies
9. Fun For The Masses
10.?Platform
11. Riding The Blinds
12. El Camino Real
13. Golden Apples
14. Korean Tea

ABOUT

Where do you go after making an album that the Guardian hailed as “a rich, ambitious triumph”, American Songwriter called “a strikingly original, complex and inspired work”, MOJO described as “a record you could lose yourself in for months”, and Billboard as a “most magnificent recording, one that is mandatory listening if you are in search of an immersive album rock experience in the 21st century”?? It’s a question Jonathan Wilson asked himself after his “maximalist” album Rare Birds was released in 2018 to glowing reviews. Not only did it earn him Album of the Year awards in Rolling Stone, France and Blitz in Portugal, it brought him his first national television appearances in the US, on Conan and CBS Saturday Morning.

Rare Birds had been the culmination of three solo albums in seven years that the singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer released to widespread acclaim. His first, 2011’s Gentle Spirit, a beautiful California dream of an album, is a classic by now and won him the admiration and friendship of Graham Nash, David Crosby, Elvis Costello and Jackson Browne.? His follow-up, Fanfare, was also well-received with Uncut calling it “a lavish musical epic, the work of a dedicated and stone cold studioholic.” But now Wilson was looking for something completely new.

In 2019 he appeared on the celebrated nationally-syndicated live music radio show eTown. “It was sort of bluegrass-based”, Wilson says, “and on this particular show I was playing with Steve Earle. Next thing you know, I’m talking with Steve about recording.” Earle advised Wilson that, if he had a bunch of songs written, he ought to take them to Nashville and make the record blind, since Nashville’s crawling with studios and top-notch session players. “And that’s how I got into the idea of going to Nashville and tapping into that sound,” says Wilson. “The sound of my home.”

Wilson was born in a small town in North Carolina. As a child he was raised on a mix of Beatles, 60’s and 70’s rock, country, and bluegrass. His uncle played in bluegrass legend Bill Monroe’s band. His father had a rock band, but he would often jam with local friends who could “moonlight on banjo and mandolin and do gospel harmonies that would knock you out. I would sit there and strum along,” says Wilson, “There’s this astute southern rhythm and musicality in western NC… Then there’s this crazy three finger banjo style that you have to be really good at it because you’re from the place where Earl Scruggs is from. One of my father’s best pals was the music director at the Caroleean gospel church where my grandfather was a preacher and on the side he could pick the shit out of a mandolin. So, I was exposed to something super-authentic that I was soaking up. In hindsight, it doesn’t get more authentic than that.”

A musical prodigy himself, Wilson wrote his first song at three. He was also a musical polymath, playing drums, horns, woodwind, piano and guitar. He joined an R&B band at 14; left high school to study jazz with some old masters, and joined a rock band, Muscadine. He also became a noted luthier and a record producer. Among the artists he has produced albums for are Father John Misty, American band Dawes, British folk legend Roy Harper and Conor Oberst.

In 2017-18 Rogers Waters asked Wilson to join him on his US+THEM tour on guitar and as musical director. Wilson also sang all the David Gilmour vocal parts. On that two-year tour, Wilson would sometimes find himself thinking about his Southern home. “Stuck out there in a hotel in Latvia, it’s a long way from anything that feels like home or family. I felt I was subconsciously being led back to my roots.” In the new song ’69 Corvette’ he sings, I still think of Carolina sometimes. I miss the family. I miss that feeling. I miss home.

Those feelings were still fresh in his mind during that conversation with Steve Earle. Making his next album live in the studio with a Nashville band, instead of building them alone, piece by piece in his L.A studio, seemed like a good way to go back while simultaneously moving forward.? An example of that is Wilson’s new take on “Korean Tea”, an old song he had done with his ‘90’s band Muscadine. “That is a song about having a shining musical gift to share with the world. My brother says that’s one of the prettiest melodies I’ve written, so I decided to bring it back into the world”. “Heaven Making Love” is a song Wilson wrote for Rare Birds but abandoned; “I tried but I could never really get it, it had that locomotive polka thing sorta so I guess it was waiting for an album like this to join!”

With Wilson’s longtime friend Pat Sansone of Wilco producing, Wilson and the band recorded in Studio A at the Sound Emporium, the late country maverick Cowboy Jack Clement’s studio. The musicians included Nashville’s premier session players including bass player Dennis Crouch, Russ Pahl on pedal steel, multi-instrumentalist Jim Hoke, and world renowned Fiddle master Mark O’Connor.

“I was thinking about fiddle as being an integral part of the record, and I needed to find the best. In my mind the best of the best was Mark O’Connor. So I decided to reach out to him. I said, ‘Hey man, I’m doing a session, would you like to come down and play fiddle?’ and he’s like, ‘Thank you, but I haven’t done a session since 1990.’ So, he didn’t say no and he didn’t say yes! Over time, he eventually said, ‘Maybe, but my only stipulation is it’s got to be with the band, no overdubs. That’s what drove me out of the session business.’ That was a big deal to all of us. Mark truly elevates the record and he shines as the most brilliant fiddler on Earth, I thank him for his beautiful melodies on this album.”

Working with this Nashville band gave Wilson the same kind of feeling he had as a kid, strumming along with those bluegrass bands. “There’s something about this level of musicianship, they’ve been in so many sessions. It was fun to play some of the more stoner Canyon-ey tunes for this crack session band and watch them write up their special Nashville charts with their numbers, symbols and diamonds… they call it ‘hillbilly arithmetic’ over there….

The album was cut in only six days. “It was so fast it was a blur.” Hence the title, Dixie Blur. “And there really is a magic that occurs when musicians play together in a room and create that one consistent thing in time, something is created by the collective energy that is impossible to recreate otherwise,” says Wilson.

“It feels like another side, you know? Sort of like a personal, unplugged, just got off the road feeling. I think it’s the most down to earth and emotional both musically and lyrically that I’ve ever been.”

Press kit

Concerti di JONATHAN WILSON

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