JONATHAN WILSON’S GENTLE SPIRIT OUT TODAY
FIRST SINGLE, “DESERT RAVEN,” AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD NOW
Bella Union Records is excited to announce that Jonathan Wilson’s debut solo album, Gentle Spirit, is being released today, September 13. The first single from the record, “Desert Raven,” is available for download HERE (bloggers feel free to post!). Wilson produced the record, which features Gary Louris, Vetiver’s Andy Cabic and Otto Hauser, pedal steeler Josh Grange, Black Crowes singer Chris Robinson and their organist Adam McDougal, Brian Geltner, legendary bassist Gerald Johnson, keyboardist Barry Goldberg and Gary Mallaber, former drummer with the Steve Miller Band and Van Morrison.
Gentle Spirit has been receiving raves in the UK, where it has already been released. The NME gave the record an 8 and called it an “astonishing debut” and “some of the most luxurious folk of the year, while Mojo, in its four-star review hailed: “Wilson has shaped a delicious future.” Uncut called the album “transcendent” and “compelling,” and gave it four stars while The Guardian and The Mirror also gave it four stars, as the latter noted that the “beautifully etched tunes and delicately cracked emotions make for a great debut.”
Wilson’s music is steeped equally in the woodsy contours of his Blue Ridge experiences and the atmospheric guitar reveries of Neil Young and Quicksilver Messenger Service. In fact, Gentle Spirit, an expansive double vinyl set recorded direct to analog tape using Wilson’s 1972 console that used to belong to Shelter Records, is remarkably evocative of that golden late ’60s, early ’70s period when rural and urban sensibilities colluded in producing some of rock’s most imperishable recordings. The album features all original Wilson compositions with the exception of his “psyched out” rendition of Gordon Lightfoot’s “The Way I Feel.” Wilson crafted the album between tours, album producer jobs and the never-ending jam sessions that constituted canyon life. He began tracking in Lauren Canyon, but finished it in his new Five Star Studio in the Echo Park section of LA.
Although an official release of the album didn’t materialize until now, Gentle Spirit has circulated underground on sharpie-labeled CDRs through the hands of a select few members of his friends and family. This hand-to-hand virality has created a certain mystique about the album in a manner consistent with its, and the artist’s, character and ideals.