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Jonathan Wilson

Gentle Spirit


As a sideman, Jonathan Wilson has worked with Erykah Badu and Elvis Costello, but as a solo artist, his heart is somewhere else entirely. The primary influence on his first album is the enclave of folk stars who colonised Los Angeles's Laurel Canyon in the 60s. Aptly recorded to analogue tape, Gentle Spirit engagingly takes up where the Graham Nashes and Joni Mitchells left off, with only the odd splash of electronics proving it was made this decade. The title track, a response to the modern-day ill of "all the explosions and carbombs", has a queasy sense of unease in its gentle lamentation: "peddled like cheap drugs, all this hatred", but otherwise he's not much of a proselytiser. In the main, he – and guests including Chris Robinson and the Jayhawks' Gary Louris – are content to navel-gaze, sing softly and weave mellow songs from lazily strummed guitar, Hammond organ and the subtlest percussion. Beautiful and bewitching.

  • 1. Gentle Spirit
    2. Can We Really Party Today?
    3. Desert Raven
    4. Canyon In The Rain
    5. Natural Rhapsody
    6. Ballad Of The Pines
    7. The Way I Feel
    8. Don’t Give Your Heart To A Rambler
    9. Woe Is Me
    10. Waters Down
    11. Rolling Universe
    12. Magic Everywhere
    13. Valley Of The Silver Moon