If someone would have told me years ago that I'd be still be listening to James Wilsey in this day and age, I'd think they were nuts. Wilsey was the bass player for the Avengers, one of the preeminent California punk bands back in the late seventies. Roughly ten years later, he was in Silvertone, a San Francisco band that featured Chris Isaak. Later, when Isaak became a solo performer, Wilsey was still there, and a big part of Isaak's sound. If you've heard the twang in any of Isaak's early stuff, songs like the lady killer "Wicked Games", you've heard Wilsey.
There's something to be said for restrained guitar playing, particularly when you have chops, and Wilsey is a great example. Check the video above, an instrumental cover of the Carpenters' "Superstar". Once the goosebumps subside, there's a part in it towards the latter half where he lays into it, playing like a drunk Duane Eddy. Wilsey though, is no mere copy cat. He's got a little of Eddy in his playing, in addition to surf, the Bakersfield sound, and rockabilly, a touch of Billy Strange and the pacing of Link Wray thrown in for good measure. You'd think he'd be a big deal, but I've been on the lookout for Wilsey link meat for ages, and it's almost as if he doesn't exist online. So dig the one below while you can. If'n you dig it, grab his solo LP El Dorado. Good stuff Maynard.
~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~Listen:
James Wilsey - A Man Comes Around mp3 at NHAC (?)
James Wilsey - Several songs streaming at Reverbnation
Silvertone - Gone Ridin' at YouTube Wilsey on lead
James Wilsey at Facebook
James Wilsey at Wikipedia