I have been meaning to feature Larry Jon Wilson for a while now for two simple reasons: he writes great songs and he is a great singer. He has the most fantastically evocative voice which, together with the way he mixes country and soul to create something all his own, reminds me an awful lot of one of my all time heroes, Charlie Rich.
Mr Wilson's life story is quite something and is explained in detail on his website but briefly: he didn't pick up a guitar until the age of 30 in 1970; within five years had a recording contract with Monument Records and made four excellent albums; five years later gave up recording; that was it until 2004 when he had a couple of new tracks on the Country Soul Revue's "Testifying" LP; then produced a self-titled acoustic come-back album last year. I was lucky enough to see him when the Country Soul Revue played London to support the album and despite the presence of the likes of Tony Joe White he stole the show.
Here are three tracks, one each from his first two albums and one more recent.
From "New Beginnings" (1975): "Broomstraw Philosophers and Scuppernong Wine".
From "Let Me Sing My Song To You" (1976): "Think I Feel A Hitch Hike Coming On".
From the Country Soul Revue album (2004) - and possibly my favourite of all his songs - "Sapelo".
I haven't included anything from his latest album as I really think you ought to go out and buy it, but to give you a taster here is a clip of "Shoulders" from that album - presumably shot "on location" (the album was recorded over the course of a week in a hotel room in Florida).