TAS Super LP List! Special Merit: Informal
The Absolute Sound Top New Vinyl Release of 2016!
180g Vinyl Double LP! Pressed at RTI!
Mastered by Bernie Grundman at Bernie Grundman Mastering!
Michael Fremer Rated 10/11 Music, 10/11 Sound on analogplanet.com!
"Frogtown," an album of original songs, is guitarist Anthony Wilson's most wide-ranging recorded work to date, and his debut as a singer. Wilson enlisted Grammy-winning producer/bassist Mike Elizondo and a cast of musicians including legendary drummer Jim Keltner, violinist Petra Haden, and iconic saxophonist Charles Lloyd, to help him realize his vision. Virtuosic guitar and ensemble work, well-crafted songs, and intimate vocals drive this album, rooted deeply in jazz while summoning an array of diverse influences. "Frogtown" reaches across genres and evokes complex emotional landscapes. With "Frogtown," Anthony Wilson steps confidently into the center of a vivid musical and personal portrait.
"Anthony Wilson, best known as a jazz guitarist, has released an organic,
occasionally “noir-ish”, sounding album on which he sets up and sings within
cinematic musical landscapes, proving himself to be an equally compelling story
teller. "Frogtown" is an area of Los Angeles, whose official name is "Elysian
Valley". People live there but other than a lush stretch of the L.A. riverbed,
there's not much there, which is how the people like it. The same can't be said
of this record, which will have you wondering from where came this Anthony
"Wilson doesn’t ease into this new role—he jumps: opening with “She Won’t Look
Back”, which sounds conjured up by Angelo Badalamenti with direction by David
"Not every musician can make convincing this kind of epic shift, but Wilson
doesn’t force a note or vocal gesture unwinding a story that navigates
skillfully from heartbreak to liberation...
"The first of the album’s four sides ends with “Your Footprint”, a dreamy, late
afternoon-sounding drift down reverie that Wilson’s vocal nails. First play
leaves you wondering where this Anthony Wilson has been hiding all of these
years? If the goal was to establish a crossover foothold in Norah Jones’s
musical territory, mission accomplished.
"That was my thought before reading in the credits that Jones collaborator Jesse
Harris plays harmonica on one tune. Harris’s Wikipedia page says his music has
been described as a “blend of folk, rock, jazz and world rhythms” and that
pretty much sums up what this record offers. Also onboard here on various
tracks: Petra Haden, Patrick Warren, Jim Keltner and on one track Charles
"Produced by Mike Elizondo, who also plays bass and synth bass, and engineered
by Adam Hawkins at Can-Am Recorders, the album’s sound and the deftly drawn
arrangements (for some reason uncredited) perfectly compliment Wilson’s dreamy,
rural intentions (producer Joe Harley gets a “audio consultation” credit). The
sound achieves a rare level of transparency, delicacy and three-dimensionality
in today’s hard-edged audio world. Bernie Grundman cut lacquers from what I
assume were high resolution files. I doubt you’ll ask yourself “why buy the
vinyl?” after your first listen.
"While those familiar with Wilson’s previous recorded output will be stunned and
perhaps left confused after the first play, I think even those with no Wilsonian
perspective will be equally moved by the record’s musical and sonic beauty and
especially by Wilson’s evocative vocalizing. Who knew?
"From the first note of the first song Frogtown engages and it doesn’t let go of
its considerable grip for four sides..." - Michael Fremer, Analogplanet.com,
April 12, 2016
"Anthony Wilson is surely one of today's most versatile, creative, and chameleonic guitarists...On Frogtown, Wilson moves into singer-songwriter territory, adding his voice to six of the record's 13 tracks. With a stellar group beside him...Wilson weaves a coherent, personal, and jazz-inflicted album...Frogtown is open and airy, with a relaxed, warm clarity that suits the music. Instruments are beautifully captured tonally and texturally, and Wilson's voice is nicely integrated with the unfussy mix." - Wayne Garcia, The Absolute Sound, November 2016
• 180g Vinyl
• Double LP
• Mastered by Bernie Grundman at Bernie Grundman Mastering
• Audio consulation by Joe Harley
• 12" x 12" insert fold out with lyrics
• Pressed at RTI
Anthony Wilson, guitars, vocals
Petra Haden, violin, bird whistle
Mike Elizondo, bass, synth bass
Patrick Warren, piano, organ, pump organ, autoharp, keyboards, samples
Jim Keltner, drums, percussion
Matt Chamberlain, drums, percussion
Charles Lloyd, tenor sax on "Your Footprints"
Jesse Harris, harmonica on "Arcadia"
Josh Nelson, piano on "Silver And Flint" and "The Geranium"
Daniel Rosenboom, trumpet
Bob Reynolds, tenor sax
Adam Schroeder, baritone sax, bass clarinet
1. She Won't Look Back
3. Your Footprints
4. Occhi di Bambola
5. Silver and Flint
6. Our Affair
7. The Cares of A Family Man
10. The Geranium
11. Shabby Bird
12. I Saw It Through the Skylight
13. Downtown Abbey