Dan Wilson cut his teeth with those seminal college-rock faves Trip Shakespeare way back when (i.e. the late ’80s/early ’90s), then fronted Semisonic, who ostensibly bowed out in 2001, but more recently he’s known for penning other folks’ tunes — he nabbed a 2007 Grammy for the Dixie Chicks’ “Not Ready To Make Nice” and co-wrote a bunch of other songs on their Taking the Long Way. Not taking post-Grammy life lightly, the Minneapolis songsmith just finished his solo studio debut Free Life, though it’s tough saying “solo” when you start counting the guest appearances: Sheryl Crow, Tom Petty pianist Benmont Tench, and folks from N*E*R*D and Nickel Creek, etc. Wait ? N*E*R*D?
Another guest, the Jayhawks’ Gary Louris, lends an icy guitar licking to the lonely and bummed but ultimately triumphant piano ballad “Cry.” Dig the shakers, those bubbling hand drums and the escalating, string-laced exit coupled with Wilson’s crystal croon.
Cinematic, sad, empowering ? we bet this’ll be a hit in karaoke bars everywhere.
While we’re talking Wilson, check out dude’s blog and keep him some company.
Free Life is out 10/16 on American.