Between his solo records, his production work on albums from Dawes and Father John Misty and his gig as Roger Waters' guitarist, Jonathan Wilson is well-connected in the music business. So it was fitting that at his Feb. 26 Q&A and performance at the Grammy Museum, Wilson was joined by a high profile guest: Jackson Browne, who mediated the Q&A and joined Wilson for a performance of "Gentle Spirit."
The two men are clearly good friends and their mutual admiration makes sense given that Wilson is often cited as the modern progeny of the Laurel Canyon sound that Browne helped pioneer. Their hour-long conversation was wonderfully digressive, as Wilson touched on everything from his early years learning (and stealing) multiple instruments alongside his musical family in North Carolina to funny anecdotes about Roger Waters playing trumpet and Father John Misty recording his album on LSD.
A skilled multi-instrumentalist, a talented producer and an in-demand guitarist, Wilson is clearly someone who is serious about the craft of music, and his years of experience have imbued him with the kind of offhanded virtuosity that only comes with with time and practice. The songs he previewed from his forthcoming album Rare Birds--due out March 2--mark him as a sardonic lyricist in the vein of Father John Misty, but his voice and spacious productions are more reminiscent of The War on Drugs. Those are two of the greatest bands working in modern rock and Wilson has certainly earned the right to be in their company, as well as classic rock legends like Waters and Browne.