Jonathan Wilson May be the Only Thing Erykah Badu and Jackson Browne Have in Common
At 39, Jonathan Wilson has already accomplished more than many people twice his age. As a musician, he has worked with everyone from Jackson Browne to Dallas' own Erykah Badu. Wilson has also produced recording sessions for the likes of Glen Campbell, Dawes and Father John Misty. And as a solo performer, Wilson has released four albums that creatively combine folk, country and psychedelic rock.
courtesy of Bella Union Records Jonathan Wilson
Speaking from a tour stop in Nashville and in anticipation of tonight's show at Dada, Wilson spoke with DC9 about his intriguing past and why he thinks his music has been better appreciated in Europe than in his home country.
You are originally from North Carolina. How long have you lived in Los Angeles?
I went out there when I was 19. I lived in the southeast for a while and then New York before I came back for good, to Laurel Canyon in 2005.
When was the last time you played Dallas?
It's been a long, long time. I was probably through there, but it was when I was playing in someone else's band. Last time I was playing there, I was playing with Jackson Browne.
How did you end up in his band?
It was a thing where he got a copy of my album, Gentle Spirit. The first time we crossed path, he knew that I was the guy that had did that album. We got together and did some shows. We have become good buddies.
What is your favorite Jackson Browne song?
I'd have to say "For a Dancer."
Your music is often listed as folk, psychedelic rock, country or R&B.
I don't know about the R&B part. That may be in there somewhere. I am definitely the first two. I am definitely not a country singer. I can sing some bluegrass if I have to.
You have had quite a bit of success in Europe. Are you more popular there than in the states?
Oh, for sure. I will get ten times the crowd over there. Part of that is that I go over there all of the time. I hit it hard in Europe. I've made inroads over there. That is where the band has been concentrating.
Do Europeans generally have better taste than Americans?
I don't know about better tastes, but are certainly more interested in my music. Music seems to be bigger priorities for people of all ages. They love good American rock and roll.
What will it take for your music to break in America?
That I don't know. One thing is that we just have to circle the wagon a couple of times. We have not done that before. On this tour, we have been gaining a lot of fans. That combined with a couple of songs on the radio and suddenly the tables turn.