Larry Jon WilsonAlbum | Larry Jon Wilson By Jim Allen
That greasy, funky, Southern outlaw sound.
When people talk about classic "country soul" the first name that usually pops up is Tony Joe White, but Larry Jon Wilson (yes, it helps to have three names) is an equally important proponent of that greasy, funky, Southern outlaw sound of the '70s. He didn't get the same breaks, though, and after a few great, poor-selling albums he abandoned his recording career as the decade ended. Some 30 years down the line, Wilson has finally returned with an album that's fully the equal of his early material. In fact, it's better than his last album or two, which were a tad on the overproduced side. What you hear is basically Wilson playing live, solo acoustic (some fiddle was added later), doing mostly first—and only—takes on some tunes of his own as well as some well chosen material by everyone from Paul Siebel to Mickey Newbury (a pair of themed suites/medleys with the self-explanatory titles "Losers Trilogy" and "Whores Trilogy" are particularly effective). And that deep, rich, papa-bear voice that's been a Wilson trademark since the beginning is as resonant and soulful as ever, showing that there's still plenty of juice in the 69-year-old's sound.