Larry Jon Wilson by Larry Jon Wilson on Apple Music

12 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Along with the likes of Tony Joe White and Bobbie Gentry, Georgia boy Larry Jon Wilson was one of the prime exponents of country soul, blending greasy grooves and good-ol' boy twang on a string of stellar but poorly selling '70s albums. After decades in a sort of self-imposed exile, Wilson was coaxed out of hiding by singer/songwriters Jerry DeCicca (Black Swans) and Jeb Loy Nichols for what would be his swan song; he died two years after its 2008 release. Made in the sparest, most spontaneous of circumstances, the album finds Wilson sans rhythm section, accompanied only by his own acoustic guitar and the occasional violin of Black Swans' Noel Sayre (who died tragically in '08). Instead of funky beats, Wilson lays his huge, papa-bear voice across some savory country and folk ballads. Some of the tunes are penned by other artists—Wilson masterfully combines Paul Siebel's "Louise," Mickey Newbury's "Frisco Mabel Joy," and Dave Loggins' "Sunset Woman" into a medley helpfully dubbed "The Whore Trilogy."

EDITORS’ NOTES

Along with the likes of Tony Joe White and Bobbie Gentry, Georgia boy Larry Jon Wilson was one of the prime exponents of country soul, blending greasy grooves and good-ol' boy twang on a string of stellar but poorly selling '70s albums. After decades in a sort of self-imposed exile, Wilson was coaxed out of hiding by singer/songwriters Jerry DeCicca (Black Swans) and Jeb Loy Nichols for what would be his swan song; he died two years after its 2008 release. Made in the sparest, most spontaneous of circumstances, the album finds Wilson sans rhythm section, accompanied only by his own acoustic guitar and the occasional violin of Black Swans' Noel Sayre (who died tragically in '08). Instead of funky beats, Wilson lays his huge, papa-bear voice across some savory country and folk ballads. Some of the tunes are penned by other artists—Wilson masterfully combines Paul Siebel's "Louise," Mickey Newbury's "Frisco Mabel Joy," and Dave Loggins' "Sunset Woman" into a medley helpfully dubbed "The Whore Trilogy."

TITLE TIME
3:17
7:01
4:15
2:36
2:26
2:33
2:21
3:50
3:47
2:33
10:48
4:05

About Larry Jon Wilson

b. 7 October 1940, Swainsboro, Georgia, USA. One of the definitive country soul singer-songwriters of the 70s, Wilson was a classic late bloomer. He did not start playing guitar until the age of 30, but five years later in 1975 he released his debut, New Beginnings, on the Monument Records label, home of Kris Kristofferson and country soul pioneer Tony Joe White. Wilson was immediately embraced as part of the mid-70s outlaw country movement that eschewed slick production in favour of a raw, gritty approach. With his deep, papa-bear voice, funky southern groove, and richly evocative narratives of rural Georgia life, Wilson was a unique stylist, but his gutsy, greasy sound did not translate into sales. He quit the music business in 1980, although he gradually began performing again in 1989.

In the new millennium, bits of Wilson’s legacy leaked out via his performance in the 70s outlaw country documentary Heartworn Highways, originally screened in 1981 and released on DVD in 2005, and the 2003 compilation Country Got Soul. In 2004, Wilson contributed to the Country Soul Revue album, produced by southern soul godfather Dan Penn and featuring White, Bonnie Bramlett, and Donnie Fritts. By 2008, Wilson was finally readying a new album for release.

  • ORIGIN
    Swainsboro, GA
  • BORN
    Oct 7, 1940

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