Renowned for the elegance of his melodies, the intelligence of his lyrics and the purity of his voice, Dan Wilson has just completed work on his first solo album, titled "Free Life," which will be released on American Recordings/Columbia on October 16th.
"Free Life" features guest appearances by a large cast of characters, including Sheryl Crow, Mason Jennings, Sean Watkins, Benmont Tench, Eric Fawcett, John Munson, Amy Jennings, John Hermanson, Ruby Amanfu, Bleu, Jacob Slichter, Matt Wilson, JoAnna James, Andy Thompson, Gary Louris, Joe Savage and many others. Guests on "lost" tracks from the album's long history extend the Minneapolis who's who: Adam Levy, Rob Skoro, Brian Tighe and many others participated in the process over several years. The CD features 12 new songs written by Wilson, and one surprising addition - a version of the Dixie Chicks-DW collaboration "Easy Silence."
The album was produced by Wilson with guidance from label head and executive producer Rick Rubin. While "Free Life" is in some ways a departure from Wilson's previous work, it also finds him in the familiar territory that has been reflected in much of his work - the elevated, chill-inducing melodies, the thoughtful yet straightforward lyrics, the striving for honesty of expression. "I've always loved songwriting that sounded like truth," says Wilson, "like first-person confessions, like confidences whispered in your ear. Even if I'm willing to tinker with reality and my own history, I want the song to feel true."
Wilson is a celebrated artist and songwriter whose diverse and highly lauded projects now span two decades. In 2007 Wilson received a Song of the Year Grammy Award with the Dixie Chicks for 'Not Ready to Make Nice,' while co-writing an additional five songs on the trio's Album of the Year-winning 'Taking the Long Way'. Wilson had previously been recognized by the Grammys with a nomination for 'Best Rock Song' as the primary songwriter and singer for the song 'Closing Time' by the critically acclaimed Minneapolis band Semisonic.
Now more than ever an in-demand songwriter and producer, Wilson has recently collaborated with artists including Mike Doughty, AbsentStar, Nickel Creek, Rachel Yamagata, Jewel, and Craig Wiseman. Dan Wilson began his career as a writer and performer with the seminal Minneapolis cult band Trip Shakespeare in the early nineties.