Jonathan Wilson’s newest album Dixie Blur is a beautifully crafted folk masterpiece. Like all of his previous work, his attention to detail is uncanny. He is really showing off his producer skills in this record, along with his song craftsmanship and instrumental technique.
Jonathan Wilson has released four albums prior to Dixie Blur. Much of his earlier work has a more psychedelic rock sound of the 60’s and 70’s, relying heavily on his electric guitar solos and trippy soundscapes. Dixie Blur is a much more polished and mature folk album, blending traditional sounds with touching and at times sad lyrics.
He begins the album with “Just For Love”, a cover of the 60’s Bay Area band Quicksilver Messenger Service. I was thrilled that he started the album with one of my favorite sixties gems. His version is perfectly done with a slightly slower and eerie vibe. He continues with his most popular song, ‘69 Corvette, which pays tribute to his father. The lyrics of death and loss combined with the violin creates a unique and magical sound that only Wilson can achieve. The rest of the album is full of amazing songs. Some of my favorites are “Platform” and “Golden Apples”, both of which are tender acoustic numbers with his trademark smooth singing style.
Whether you’ve heard of Jonathan Wilson or not, Dixie Blur is definitely worth a listen. It is a perfectly crafted, sentimental album that blends country, folk and psychedelic rock. I highly recommend it, along with his entire library.
I grew up in a house of classic rock. I remember waking up to the sounds of Led Zeppelin and The Doors, while my Dad made his coffee. For most of my teenage years I was stubborn and stuck in my ways, assuming all new music was commercialized pop with no heart. After years of only listening to late 60’s and early 70’s rock, I finally got up the courage to branch out. I discovered bands like Allah-las and The Growlers, which opened my eyes to the world of modern neo-psychedelic rock. I have since been on a relentless search for the perfect psychedelic sound, blending just the right amount of fuzz, harmonies, rhythm and crunchy guitar solos. I found the perfect mix in the band, Buffalo Killers.
The band was formed in 2006 by Ohio brothers Andrew and Zachary Gabbard, and Joseph Sebaali after the breakup of their first rock group, The Shams, which had an earlier 60’s sound similar to The Animals or early Rolling Stones. You can hear many of these elements in the Buffalo Killers, with their tightly structured blues progressions, energetic vocals, powerful guitar solos and meaningful lyrics. The Buffalo Killers are a more polished and refined version of The Shams. They are the perfect blend of late 60’s, early 70’s blues rock. Their lyrics are creative and powerful, and at times haunting. The Gabbard brothers’ harmonies range from a soulful southern blues style of the Allman Brothers to a more gentle sound reminiscent of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Their melodies send chills up your spine. They have a slight metal sound similar to early Ozzy, while also sounding almost identical to Neil Young. They touch on themes of rebirth, ideath, nature and freedom. They have toured with some big bands including The Black Keys and The Black Crowes. Andrew Gabbard has released music independently under his own name and the brothers are currently making music as The Gabbard Brothers, which I’m very excited about.
What really drew me to Buffalo Killers is their guitar work. Being a guitar player myself, I really fell in love with their tone and technique, so similar to the sounds of late 60’s, early 70’s blues rock. Andrew Gabbard is truly a master of his craft. His tone and vibrato is unmatched. He holds the note at the right time and has the perfect blend of blues, rock, metal and crunchy psychedelia. His sound is very similar to early Clapton while playing with Cream, full of rich, heavy distortion. If you are a fan of rock guitar, no matter what era, take a listen and you will be amazed and transported into a realm of timeless sound and technique.
Buffalo Killers have released eight albums. Their second album, Let It Ride, was produced by Black Keys guitarist Dan Auerbach. Almost all of their albums have a similar sound except for Fireball of Sulk, which to me has more of a punk, metal or grunge style like Nirvana. It’s hard for me to choose my favorite songs from their entire discography, but a few that stand out to me are “Get It”, with its catchy piano and heavy blues guitar, “Huma Bird”, with its soft subtle flare and “Need a Changin’” which really sums up their overall philosophy and style and is a wonderful rock anthem song.
Buffalo Killers are my perfect psychedelic rock band. They have the right balance of touch, technique, soul and downright heavy homegrown rock flare that will leave you wanting more. They are a new familiar sound that will grab you and never let go.
Favorite Songs: Get It, Huma Bird, Need a Changin’, Moon Daisy
Genres: Psychedelic Rock, Roots Rock, Blues, Southern Rock, Folk Rock, Swamp Rock