# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Larry Jon Wilson - Larry Jon Wilson

  by Malcolm Carter

published: 22 / 6 / 2008

Larry Jon Wilson - Larry Jon Wilson
Label: Sony Music
Format: CD


Stunning first album in 28 years from under-acknowledged, but influential country star Larry Jon Wilson, who shows himself on it to be every bit an equal of Johnny Cash

I’ll have to say that this album is one of the biggest surprises of the year so far for me. Nearly 40 years ago Larry Jon Wilson was changing the shape and sound of country music as it was known up until the late 60's / early 70's. Although he made albums for the Monument label he never received the praise and attention that say label mate Kris Kristofferson gained. Even though Wilson was part of this new breed that was converting young pups such as me and teaching us that country music had so much in common with our beloved soul music and that, yes, white men could sing with soul and in a country framework he couldn’t seem to get any further than cult status. At least in this country. One of the biggest thrills for me when buying the DVD ‘Heartworn Highways’ was seeing that Larry Jon Wilson was included in the documentary so maybe he was more appreciated in the States. According to the bare notes on the promo copy of the CD we received Wilson is now back recording after a 28 year break. For anyone with even a passing interest in current country music or even Americana music in general then this album simply must be your next purchase. If your interest in the genre was only awakened by 'The American Recordings of Johnny Cash' then do yourself a favour and invest in this album, you will not be disappointed. But don’t just take my word for it, Kristofferson, Steve Earle, Willie Nelson; they all rate Larry Jon Wilson as a major talent. The twelve songs on offer here are, for the most part, stripped back affairs, mainly just voice and guitar with the occasional embellishment like a lonely violin which just to add to the atmosphere. And that’s how it should be because Wilson’s baritone should not be smothered by layers of music. Like Cash’s last recordings it’s the voice that mattered, the voice that made the songs. It’s strange that for a voice that some might call a growl there’s very little roughness to Wilson’s vocals, but there’s one hell of a lot of soul. Wilson has one of those voices that makes you believe, I’ve obviously never met the man but feel I know him so well through not only the songs he chooses to sings but because his world-weary vocals touch me every time I hear them. Even though I’ve listened to this album a good number of times now every single time I replay it is like the first time; the man’s vocals tear me up, I feel his pain, his loss and his hopes. The fact that there is occasional studio dialogue left in just makes the whole album more intimate and makes the listener feel part of the song. It lends the whole album a live feel. I respected Johnny Cash and the music he made as much as the next guy, but there were periods when he was making music that didn’t register with me but in this collection of new Larry Jon Wilson recordings I’ve found a musician who has come back into the public eye to show that he is every bit an equal of Cash. Thank you 1965 Records for releasing this album, thank you to whoever was responsible for hauling this almost forgotten talent back into the recording studio but most of all thank you to Larry Jon Wilson for possessing a voice that can break the strongest of hearts and knowing what to do with it. Just don’t leave it another 30 odd years please.

Track Listing:-
1 Shoulders
2 Losers Trilogy: If I Just Knew What To Say / Bless the Losers / Things Ain't What They Used To Be And Probably Never Was
3 Heartland
4 Long About Now
5 Me With No You
6 Feel Alright Again
7 I Am No Dancer
8 Goodbye Eyes
9 Rocking With You
10 Throw My Hands Up
11 Whore Trilogy: Louise / Sunset Woman / Frisco Mabel Joy
12 Where From

Label Links:-

Post A Comment

your name
ie London, UK
Check box to submit

digital downloads

most viewed articles

most viewed reviews

Pennyblackmusic Regular Contributors