Echos

by Jason Wilber

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about

The story behind ECHOES:

Jason Wilber sings and plays guitar for John Prine, one of the English speaking world’s most celebrated and revered songwriters. It’s kind of like playing for Walt Whitman or Mark Twain. It’s the sort of role that can define a musician, and most would be well-pleased with that: “A legend's right hand man” has a ring to it. But Wilber– a deft songsmith in his own right, whose works have drawn comparisons to folk and Americana titans, even John Prine himself –has always been on a quest. Seeking the “trials and revelations”, as Joseph Campbell once put it, along his own artistic journey.

So a few years ago it dawned on Wilber that, while he had put in his “ten thousand hours” (in Malcolm Gladwell terms) achieving mastery on the guitar, he hadn't done the same with singing. “I'd always operated on the unconscious assumption that my singing voice had been more or less set at birth and couldn't be improved much.” says Wilber, “I'm not sure why I thought that, although in discussing it with other people since then it seems to be a fairly common assumption.”

Wilber decided to challenge that belief, and began applying to his singing the same kind of disciplined study and practice that made him a world class guitar player. It took several years before he started reaching his goals, but he says it was an amazing journey: “Becoming a better singer was much more difficult and time consuming than I expected, but much more rewarding too. Improving my singing abilities has further deepened for me the joy of making music.”

Although, by Wilber's own admission his vocal improvement project was a holy hassle at first, in time a master musician found a voice to match. The result is something like when a dominant speedball pitcher finds a devastating sinker, except what’s bad for a batsman turns out to be good for a listener.

You can hear all this for yourself on ECHOES, Wilber’s ninth solo album and his first to focus on material written by other songsmiths. The material here—and material is as lousy a word as can be conjured for such artful beauty—arrived in Wilber’s care seeming disparate and disjointed. It emerges seamless and certain. Songs from Leon Russell, David Bowie, Joni Mitchell, John Prine, Pink Floyd, Stevie Wonder, the Rolling Stones, Graffiti6, and others—are delivered with gentle invention by Wilber and producer/engineer Paul Mahern, with aid from drummer Devon Ashley on “The Game” and “Annie You Save Me.”

And the vocals…sing along, or try to, with Wilber’s take on Wonder’s masterpiece “Overjoyed,” and you’ll understand something of the journey and the payoff. You’ll understand Wilber’s deep empathy for the song, and his inspiration for the singing. You’ll understand why Wilber is Prine’s guy, and more than that.

credits

released April 22, 2016

Jason Wilber – Vocals, guitars, bass
Paul Mahern – Percussion
Devon Ashley – Drums & Percussion on The Game and Annie You Save Me

Produced by Paul Mahern
Mastered By Kate Siefker
Recorded, Mixed, and Mastered at White Arc, Bloomington, Indiana
Songwriting Credits:

A Song For You (Leon Russell)
Irving Music, Inc. (BMI)

The Game (Will Sergeant, Ian McCulloch, Les Pattinson, Pete de Freitas)
WB Music Corp. OBO Warner/Chappell Music Ltd/Kobalt Music Pub America I OBO Killing Moon Songs Limited/Kobalt Music Pub America OBO Kobalt Music Services Ltd Kms (PRS)

As Tears Go By (Andrew Oldham, Kieth Richards, Mick Jagger)
ABKCO Music, Inc/Essex Music, Inc (PRS)

Coals and Water (Angel Snow)
Bmg Bumblebee OBO Emmett Till Publishing (ASCAP)

Oh You Pretty Things (David Bowie)
Chrysalis Music Group Inc Digital Only/Tintoretto Music/Screen Gems-EMI Music Inc (BMI)

Echoes (Roger Waters, Rick Wright, David Gilmour, Nick Mason)
Hampshire House Publishing (PRS)

Annie You Save Me (James Needle, Tommy D)
Sony/ATV Tunes LLC OBO Samp-Uk Ltd/EMI Blackwood Music Inc/EMI April Music Inc OBO Big Shy Pub LLP (ASCAP)

Edith and the Kingpin (Joni Mitchell)
Sony/ATV Tunes LLC OBO Crazy Crow Music (ASCAP)

Overjoyed (Stevie Wonder)
EMI April Music Inc OBO Jobete Music Co. Inc/EMI April Music Inc OBO Black Bull Music (ASCAP)

Paradise (John Prine)
WB Music Corp. OBO Walden Music, Inc. (BMI)

I Am The Cosmos (Chris Bell, Alex Chilton)
Koala Music (ASCAP)

“As Tears Go By” uses “cour.wav” by schafferdavid from FreeSounds (freesound.org/people/schafferdavid/) under the Creative Commons Attribution License.

Thank You for buying this record. I hope you enjoy listening to this much as much as we enjoyed making it. Thank you to Paul Mahern for his wonderful production and engineering. And to each of the songwriters whose work is featured here: Thank You for making the world a better place! -JW

© 2016 Jason Wilber. All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication or use is a violation of applicable laws. For free bonus tracks visit: www.jasonwilber.com

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about

Jason Wilber Bloomington, Indiana

Jason Wilber is an American singer and recording artist. He is also known as the lead guitar player for singer-songwriters like John Prine, Iris Dement, Greg Brown, and many others. Jason Wilber’s work with John Prine includes the Grammy Award winning CD Fair & Square. In addition to playing guitar on John Prine’s 2017 album For Better or Worse, Jason also served as a Co-Executive Producer. ... more

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