Jonathan Wilson (born December 30, 1974) is an American musician and record producer based in Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles.
Wilson was born on December 30, 1974 in Forest City, North Carolina and raised in nearby Spindale, North Carolina. His father was a bandleader of a rock group for 35 years and his grandfather a Baptist pastor whose services Wilson was often invited to play at. Wilson has cited his upbringing in North Carolina and the state’s rich musical heritage as an early influence.
Wilson founded the band Muscadine with Benji Hughes in 1995. The band released their debut album, The Ballad of Hope Nicholls, on Sire Records in 1998.
Wilson released his album Gentle Spirit on Bella Union on August 8, 2011 in the UK and Europe and on September 13, 2011 in the US. The album debuted at number 15 on the UK Indie Chart and was awarded the No 4 spot on Mojo’s 2011 Best Albums of the Year list. Gentle Spirit features many special guests including Barry Goldberg, Chris Robinson, Gary Louris, Andy Cabic, Otto Hauser, Josh Grange, Gary Mallaber, Z Berg, Adam McDougall, Johnathan Rice, among others. Jonathan was named Uncut Magazine’s 2011 «New Artist of the Year».
In April 2012, Wilson released «Pity Trials and Tomorrow’s Child», a limited edition vinyl EP on Bella Union for Record Store Day 2012. American Songwriter named it, «Five Things To Look For On Record Store Day». One of the album’s three tracks, a cover of George Harrison’s «Isn’t It A Pity», includes guest vocals by Graham Nash.
Wilson also completed a solo album titled Frankie Ray in 2007. The record was never officially released.
In August 2012, Jonathan was featured as a guest of Move Me Brightly, a tribute to Jerry Garcia in honor of his 70th birthday. The event was held at Bob Weir’s TRI Studios in Marin County, California and featured other guests and musicians including Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Donna Jean Godchaux, Jeff Chimenti, and many others. In June 2012, Jonathan and his band were invited by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers to support them on their 2012 European tour, which included 2 sold out nights at Royal Albert Hall.
In the fall of 2011, Wilson was invited by Roy Harper as a special guest at Royal Festival Hall as part of Harper’s sold out 70th birthday celebration. Wilson also toured with Wilco in the fall of 2011 for 15 shows across the UK & Europe. In July 2011 Wilson performed and collaborated with Jackson Browne and Dawes on a mini tour throughout Spain. Wilson performed at the 2011 benefit concert for Musicians United for Safe Energy at Shoreline Amphitheater joining Crosby, Stills & Nash, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, John Hall, The Doobie Brothers, Jason Mraz, Tom Morello, Kitaro, Sweet Honey In The Rock and others. Wilson was joined onstage by Jackson Browne and Graham Nash to perform his song «Gentle Spirit». Wilson also joined Crosby, Stills & Nash, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt and others for the concert’s finale, «Teach Your Children».
In 2010 and 2011, Wilson collaborated with Erykah Badu in the studio on several songs, only one of which was officially released. Wilson also appeared as a special guest with Erykah Badu at her 2011 Coachella performance.
In October 2013, Wilson released his second album, Fanfare, on Downtown Records and Bella Union. The album debuted at No 8 on the UK Indie Chart, No 50 on the UK Overall Chart, No 18 in the Norway Overall Chart and No 49 in the Netherlands in its first week. Uncut Magazine and Rolling Stone Germany named Fanfare its Album of the Month the month of its release. The album features contributions from David Crosby, Graham Nash, Jackson Browne, Mike Campbell, Benmont Tench, Father John Misty, Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes) and Patrick Sansone (Wilco). The album also features Wilson’s band, including Jason Borger, Omar Velasco, Richard Gowen and Dan Horne. British folk legend Roy Harper wrote the lyrics to the song «New Mexico».
Record producer and other projects
Wilson currently maintains his recording studio, Fivestar Studios, in Echo Park, Los Angeles, which he relocated from its original location in Laurel Canyon in 2009. The space is renowned for its sound and analog recording equipment.
Over several months in 2013 and 2014, Wilson produced and played on Conor Oberst’s new album Upside Down Mountain released on Nonesuch Records in May 2014. The album was recorded at Wilson’s Fivestar Studios in Los Angeles and Blackbird Studios in Nashville.
In 2013 Wilson produced «Jubilee», the fifth album from Canadian band, The Deep Dark Woods in Alberta, Canada.
In 2012, Wilson co-produced and played on Roy Harper’s latest album, Man and Myth (Bella Union, 2013) at Fivestar Studios. In the same year, Wilson produced a Glen Campbell session at Fivestar Studios for Daytrotter.
In 2011, Wilson co-produced and played on the debut Father John Misty record, Fear Fun released on Sub Pop, at Fivestar Studios.
In 2010, Wilson produced and collaborated with Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy on a series of songs for release on Spiritual Pajamas Records, a boutique 7″ label associated with Folk Yeah Presents. Wilson recorded and produced Dawes’ debut album, North Hills, at his Laurel Canyon studio. That same year, Wilson recorded and produced Dawes’ second album, Nothing Is Wrong, at Five Star Studio.
As part of Wilson’s project, What You Need Is What You Have, The Songs of Roy Harper, Wilson has produced songs performed by Will Oldham, Andy Cabic, Chris Robinson, Benji Hughes, Dawes, Jenny O., Johnathan Rice, Josh Tillman, and others. Wilson also produced Jason Boesel’s album, Hustler’s Son, Mia Doi Todd’s album Cosmic Ocean Ship and mixed Goodnight Lenin’s debut album, In The Fullness Of Time, due for release in late 2014. Wilson has also recorded and/or produced many other artists in his studio, including Gerald Johnson, James Gadson, and Josh Tillman.
Other music projects
Wilson is currently curating a collection of songs as part of What You Need Is What You Have, The Songs of Roy Harper, a Roy Harper tribute album that includes songs performed by Will Oldham, Andy Cabic, Chris Robinson, Benji Hughes, Dawes, Jenny O., Johnathan Rice, Josh Tillman, and others. Wilson was a member of The Emerald Triangle, a touring collaboration with Andy Cabic, Johnathan Rice, Neal Casal, and Husky. In addition, Wilson has recorded projects and/or performed with Johnathan Rice for Reprise Records, Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes and Phil Lesh from the Grateful Dead, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, and Bert Jansch. In April 2011, Wilson performed with Robbie Robertson and Dawes on CBS’s Late Show with David Letterman, ABC’s The View and Later… with Jools Holland in support of Robertson’s album How to Become Clairvoyant.
Wilson is credited with revitalizing the Laurel Canyon music scene with the help of his many friends and is featured in the 2009 book Canyon of Dreams by rock historian Harvey Kubernik. Wilson had hosted private jam sessions at his compound in Laurel Canyon that involved Andy Cabic, Pat Sansone and John Stirratt of Wilco, Gerald Johnson, Johnathan Rice, Gary Louris and Mark Olson of The Jayhawks, Chris Robinson of The Black Crowes, David Rawlings, Benmont Tench of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Jakob Dylan, and other notable artists who’ve played professionally with and/or in The Electric Flag, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Van Morrison, The Cars, Bruce Springsteen, Steve Miller Band, and Pearl Jam. The jam was founded by Wilson and Chris Robinson.
Frankie Ray, Pretty and Black Records, 2007
Gentle Spirit, Bella Union, 2011 (UK Indie chart peak: No 15)
Pity Trials and Tomorrow’s Child, Bella Union, 2012
Fanfare, Downtown Records/Bella Union, October 2013 (UK Indie chart peak: No 8, UK Overall chart peak: No 50, Norway chart peak No 18)
Slide By, November 2014
As part of Muscadine
The Ballad of Hope Nichols, Sire Records, 1998
LP2, Sire Records
Live From Studio East, Sire Records
Fanfare is the second studio album released by LA-based artist Jonathan Wilson. It was released in 2013 on the British indie label Bella Union. The album was recorded at Wilson’s studio Five Star Studios in Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles.
The album was recorded over a period of nine months, at Wilson’s studio located in the legendary Laurel Canyon. Similar to his previous album Gentle Spirit, Wilson continued to collaborate with numerous artist such as Roy Harper, David Crosby, Graham Nash, Benmont Tench, Father John Misty, Patrick Sansone, Dawes among others. Prior to recording the album, Wilson set out to find a grand piano, which were to serve as the centerpiece and main feature on the album and help to achieve a more epic sound than previous. Wilson found a Steinway Grand Piano for sale on Craigslist and was lucky enough to convince the seller for him to rent it for about nine months.
Fanfare features all original Wilson compositions, with the exception of his rendition of Sopwith Camel’s «Fazon».
Recorded: 2012 at Fivestarstudios, Los Angeles, California
Genre: Folk, Psychedelic
Label: Bella Union
Producer: Jonathan Wilson
Jonathan Wilson – Fanfare  (Full Album)
1 Fanfare (Arranged By [Strings], Conductor [Strings]: Patrick Sansone, Drums, Bass, Piano, Electric Piano [Fender Rhodes], Mellotron, Bells [Millennium], Organ [Hammond], Vibraphone, Percussion, Vocals, Songwriter: Jonathan Wilson, Flugelhorn: Nate Walcott, Saxophone: James King, Synthesizer [Moog]: Keefus Ciancia) – 7:05
2 Dear Friend (Bass, Electric Guitar, Mellotron, Vibraphone, Vocals, Songwriter: Jonathan Wilson, Drums: Richard Gowen, Electric Guitar, Vocals: Omar Velasco, Organ [Hammond], Piano: Jason Borger) – 7:18
3 Her Hair Is Growing Long (Guitar, Bass, Drums, Percussion, Organ [Hammond], Synthesizer, Vocals, Songwriter: Jonathan Wilson, Lyrics By [Additional]: Jaqueline Suskin) – 4:52
4 Love To Love (Bass: Dan Horne, Drums: Richard Gowen, Electric Guitar, Twelve-String Guitar [Electric], Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Percussion, Vocals, Songwriter: Jonathan Wilson, Guitar: Omar Velasco, Organ [Hammond]: Jason Borger) – 4:09
5 Future Vision (Cello: Gabriel Noel, Drums, Bass, Electric Guitar, Twelve-String Guitar [Acoustic], Piano, Organ [Hammond], Synthesizer, Clavinet, Vocals, Songwriter: Jonathan Wilson, Harmony Vocals: Josh Tillman) – 5:54
6 Moses Pain (Bass, Acoustic Guitar, Harmonica, Vibraphone, Vocals, Songwriter: Jonathan Wilson, Drums, Percussion: Richard Gowen, Harmony Vocals: Graham Nash, Josh Tillman, Jackson Browne, Jenny OOrgan [Hammond]:Jason Borger, Piano: Benmont Tench, Slide Guitar: Mike Campbell) – 6:38
7 Cecil Taylor (Flugelhorn: Nate Walcott, Guitar, Bass, Piano, Organ [Hammond], Drums, Percussion, Songwriter: Jonathan Wilson, Harmony Vocals: David Crosby And Graham Nash, Vocals [Solo]: David Crosby) – 6:30
8 Illumination (Drums, Bass, Electric Guitar, Piano, Percussion, Organ [Hammond], Vocals, Songwriter: Jonathan Wilson) – 6:38
9 Desert Trip (Acoustic Guitar, Percussion, Vocals, Songwriter: Jonathan Wilson, Double Bass – Gabriel Noel, Drums: Richard Gowen, Guitar [Nashville]: Omar Velasco, Piano, Mellotron: Jason Borger, Vocals [Ending]: Jackson Browne, Vocals [Velvet Vocal Pillows]: Josh Tillman) – 4:26
10 Fazon (Drum, Bass, Guitar, Piano, Mellotron, Other [Bicycle Wheel], Vocals: Jonathan Wilson, Harmony Vocals: «Farmer» Dave Scher, Saxophone: James King, Songwriter: Sopwith Camel) – 5:38
11 New Mexico (Drums, Bass, Guitar, Organ, Dulcimer, Percussion, Vocals: Richard Gowen, Flute: James King, Harmony Vocals: Omar Velasco, Lyrics By: Roy Harper, Music By: Jonathan Wilson) – 6:40
12 Lovestrong (Bass: Dan Horne, Cello: Gabriel Noel. Drums: Richard Gowen, Electric Guitar, Organ, Clavinet, Synthesizer, Vocals, Songwriter: Jonathan Wilson, Mellotron: Omar Velasco, Piano: Benmont Tench) – 6:31
13 All The Way Down (Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Percussion, Vibraphone, Mellotron, Guitar [Stratocaster], Vocals, Songwriter: Jonathan Wilson, Arranged By [Strings], Conductor [Strings]: Patrick Sansone, Bass: Dan Horne, Drums: Richard Gowen, Electric Guitar: Omar Velasco, Technician [Chamber Radio]: Bryce Gonzales) – 5:54
Engineer, Mixed By – Bryce Gonzales
Lighting – Peter Dokus
Management – Ryan Jansen
Mastered By – JJ Golden
Mixed By [Assisted By] – Bil Lane, Rich Tosi
Producer, Recorded By, Mixed By – Jonathan Wilson
Technician [Studio Support] – Ed Wong
Recorded At – Fivestarstudios
Mixed At – Groovemasters Studio
All songs on Fanfare tracked to the Studer A-80 24 track tape machine, 30 ips using ATR Master Tape. All songs mixed to the Ampex ATR-102 1/2″ tape machine.
Cardboard gatefold sleeve with booklet
Label: Bella Union – BELLACD423
Format: CD, Album
Genre: Rock, Pop, Folk, World, & Country
Style: Folk Rock, Psychedelic Rock
Video made by ΑΝΤΙΦΩΝΙΕΣ ΠΟΛΙΤΙΣΜΟΣ Our You Tube Channel uploaded via tunestotube with many thanks
Her Hair Is Growing Long
Love To Love
All The Way Down