Jonathan Wilson, one of American rock-n-roll's greatest underappreciated guitar gods

A few nights ago, I had the great pleasure of seeing earthy psych-rock songwriter/musician/producer Jonathan Wilson perform live in Los Angeles. Richard Metzger of Dangerous Minds turned me on to Wilson a few years back, and we went to the show together.

Here's a soundcloud link where you can check out his work.

"The sonic palette that Wilson and his band draws from includes Pink Floyd, CSNY, Radiohead, Bob Seger, Dire Straits, The Allman Brothers, The Eagles, Shuggie Otis and so forth, and yes, the musicianship is at that exalted level, too," Metzger writes.

I feel like Wilson is one of those musicians you can't fully appreciate until you see them live. After that show, I'm a trufan.

"Although Jonathan Wilson is a critical darling and has seen his music warmly received in Europe, especially in Great Britain where MOJO, Uncut and the BBC all ranked his Gentle Spirit album in their year end 'Best of' short lists for 2011 just weeks after its release—he was even Uncut’s New Artist of the Year—he is STILL underrated in America to the point of being woefully under-appreciated," writes Metzger. "Seriously America! WTF?"

Metzger is one of the internet's great Rock Snobs, and his writeup of the phenomenal show is spot-on.

Throughout most of the relaxed, at-home-among-friends set, Wilson and everyone else remained seated, save for the bass player who seemed so into it that sitting down probably would have caused him physical discomfort. One consistent element in Wilson’s remarkably varied live shows is the palpable level of psychic communication and improvisational interplay that goes on among the band members. These motherfuckers are simultaneously deeply concentrating as well as losing themselves in what they are communally creating. There’s an ecstatic music being made and it was obvious from the band and the string section’s facial expressions that they were all deeply feeling it.

The perspective from the audience? It was like having gold poured into your ears.

I expected a really great show. It was one.

Go read the rest of his review at Dangerous Minds. Metzger rounded up some great videos and a live radio session, too.

Jonathan Wilson on, here's his Facebook.

Poster art by Kii Arens.


  1. Ooh, Xeni, thank you for this. A hot grey solitary summer evening here in New York put me in a certain mood — half nostalgic for the California desert I grew up in, half for my hometown, Miami. This is the perfect soundtrack. Have played it five times in a row, and going back for a sixth. A greyish shade of blue, right on…

  2. Desert Raven sounded so familiar to me, I thought it was an old CSNY song. I couldn’t place it exactly, though, or where I’d heard it and went hunting. I found an amazing in studio for KEXP that he did just this week on his website: Thanks Xeni, I’m after the vinyl as quick as possible. 

  3. I went ahead and purchased his digital album and I have to say that listening to this is like drinking a smooth glass of whiskey. Very chill and mellow. Thanks Xeni!

  4. Excuse me but The Bard of Motown does NOT spell his last name “Seeger”.

    It is spelled “Seger”.

    Seger, Bob is from Detroit.  Seeger, Pete is a different guy.

    one of his ever-vigilant fans

  5. Very nice. Thanks for the link. I hear a little of that Dire Straits guitar sound, but maybe that’s just me imaging things.

  6. Can’t imagine why you thought this was worth posting, unless you were paid to do so. Bland, unimaginative, repetitive. Forgettable vocals. Und so weiter.

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