“Gentle Spirit” is not simply the name of the debut solo album by songwriter/musician/producer, Jonathan Wilson, it represents the ethos of the artist himself. Warm, supple melodies etched in layers of stringed instruments and willowy organ motifs accompany his earnest, North Carolinian drawl as he tells tales of humane values lost and found.
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, 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.
Wilson, a native of Forest City, North Carolina, has been quietly earning a reputation as a musical jack-of-all-trades. He is adept behind the recording console, possesses a luthier’s knowledge of all things strummed, and maintains the innate ability to conceptualize an instrument essential to providing the right color to a track in need of a defining detail. Whether working with promising new recording artists like the band Dawes, contemporary artists, such as Erykah Badu and Elvis Costello, or Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, Jackson Browne, and Robbie Robertson, Wilson, a tall, slim, long-haired presence, provides direction and support as tasty and soulful as anyone in the business today.