It appears that that mini album released for Record Store Day by Jonathan Wilson held true to its title and passed relatively unnoticed. This is a shame since Wilson is one of the most interesting musicians in the US at the current time not only with his own music but increasingly as a roving producer to numerous acts.
"Slide By" is on Bella Union and sees Wilson covering the Woodstock anthem 'Coming To LA' by Arlo Guthrie, 'Free Advice' by The Great Society and 'Angel' by Fleetwood Mac (the Bob Welch version off "Heroes are hard to Find" and two originals. The pick of the bunch is the title track which has a sort of George Harrison feel. It is a lovely piano ballad and repays repeated listens. The cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Angel" is a song that Wilson regularly covers on stage and is funky eight minute guitar showcase for his considerable skills. It is debatable whether the fiddle driven cover of Guthrie's "Coming into Los Angeles" adds much to the original although this is offset by the gorgeous new ballad "Alpha Blondy was King" ostensibly a song about the Ivory coast reggae singer but underpinned by a sweet love song. Finally the brief "Free Advice" was originally the B side to the Great Society's version of the more well known (and later) Jefferson airplane anthem "Somebody to Love". This band was led by Grace Slick who performed some vocal gymnastics in her backing to the track. This time its Leslie Stevens on the backing vocals returning the favour for Wilson's production duties on her new album. It also confirms Wilson's sterling ability to dig out old rock songs from unlikely sources and prove their worth. Overall this is a fascinating EP and a nice taster while we wait for the next big record from Jonathan Wilson.
Review by Red on Black