Saturday, April 16, 2016

Anthony Wilson - Frogtown (2016)

Label: Goat Hill Recordings

I put the LP of Frogtown on and had just turned around when it hit me. Anthony Wilson was singing! A hugely talented guitar player of more than a little renown, Wilson has built a thriving solo career that currently stands at ten fine-sounding solo records. He's also an in-demand sideman, having played on a number of records by the likes of Paul McCartney, Willie Nelson, Mose Allison, and Leon Russell, to name just a few. Lately, much of his time has been taken up by being a member of Diana Krall’s touring band. Perhaps best of all, he’s the son of far-ahead-of-his time arranger and big band leader, the late Gerald Wilson. Through my flabbergastedness, I managed to make him laugh later on the telephone by commending his bravery for singing on record for the first time! And by the way, doing it very well indeed! He also wrote all six songs that he sings on, as well as the album's seven instrumentals. One of the vocal tunes, “She Won’t Look Back,” has the sound and attitude of a single that could garner airplay and perhaps, drive the popularity of Frogtown. But why start singing now?
“I sang in bands when I was in high school and in college. And I did a lot of singing and I really loved it. Then at a certain point I just started playing instrumental music. I moved to New York and all I did was instrumental music and it wasn’t even a choice. I just did it and eventually I realized I had left something behind that I wanted to get back to. I wanted to open my mouth and sing and it took a long time to get to the point where I was like, `Okay, I’m gonna try this.’ Writing songs with words kind of developed on a parallel track to it.”
“It’s another way of telling stories with music and I don’t want to be without it. I don’t want to be confined only to certain toolbox not having actually decided to use only that toolbox.” 

 1. She Won't Look Back 05:40
2. Frogtown 04:01
3. Your Footprints 06:37
4. Occhi di Bambola 03:55
5. Silver and Flint 04:17
6. Our Affair 05:43
7. The Cares of a Family Man 04:44
8. Mopeds 01:53
9. Arcadia 05:04
10.The Geranium 06:28
11.Shabby Bird 03:31
12.I Saw It Through The Skylight 03:20
13.Downtown Abbey 04:13

Anthony Wilson — all guitars, vocals
Petra Haden — violin, bird whistle
Mike Elizondo — bass, synth bass
Patrick Warren — piano, organ, pump organ, autoharp,
keyboards & samples
Jim Keltner — drums & percussion (tracks 1, 2, 5, 9, 10, 12)
Matt Chamberlain — drums & percussion (tracks 3 — 8, 11)
Charles Lloyd — tenor saxophone on “Your Footprints”
Jesse Harris — harmonica (track 9)
Josh Nelson — piano (tracks 5 & 10)
Daniel Rosenboom — trumpet
Bob Reynolds — tenor saxophone
Adam Schroeder — baritone saxophone, bass clarinet