Jonathan Wilson | Photo by Louis Rodiger
XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “In Heaven Making Love” by Jonathan Wilson
As a producer, he’s made albums with Father John Misty, Dawes, Conor Oberst, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Roy Harper, and others. As a guitarist, you might have seen him on tour with Roger Waters, or have seen his sideman credits on records by Laura Marling, Elvis Costello, and Jenny Lewis.
When he’s not collaborating with others, Jonathan Wilson makes beautiful solo albums, and his new Americana flavored release, Dixie Blur, is another example of his fantastic talents. Currently on tour in support of his new album, Wilson performs this Friday for WXPN’s Free At Noon.
On Dixie Blur, Wilson worked with his longtime friend Pat Sansone of Wilco, who produced the album in Studio A at the Sound Emporium in Nashville. The musicians included some of Music City’s premier session players including bass player Dennis Crouch, Russ Pahl on pedal steel, multi-instrumentalist Jim Hoke, fiddle player Mark O’Connor, guitarist Kenny Vaughan, Jon Radford on drums and Drew Erickson on keyboards. Recorded in six days, the Laurel Canyon resident traded in his LA psychedelic rock songwriting and playing skills for a set of rootsy tunes.
It was actually Steve Earle who gave Wilson the idea of going to Nashville to record his new album. In 2019 Wilson appeared on the Boulder-based syndicated radio show eTown, where he and Earle connected. From Wilson’s bio about Dixie Blur, he says:
“It was sort of bluegrass-based”, Wilson says, “and on this particular show I was playing with Steve Earle. Next thing you know, I’m talking with Steve about recording.” Earle advised Wilson that, if he had a bunch of songs written, he ought to take them to Nashville and make the record blind, since Nashville’s crawling with studios and top-notch session players. “And that’s how I got into the idea of going to Nashville and tapping into that sound,” says Wilson. “The sound of my home.”
Below, listen to “In Heaven Making Love,” from Dixie Blur. You can see Wilson this Friday, March 13th at WXPN’s Free At Noon. RSVP here.