July 23, 2009

Reviving Laurel Canyon

“Ask anyone in L.A. where the craziest people are, and they’ll say Laurel Canyon," Joni Mitchell said of the Hollywood Hills neighborhood in Los Angeles where she once took residence—a counterculture haven for like-minded musicians during the 1960s. It was in Mitchell's own home that then boyfriend Graham Nash first jammed and harmonized with David Crosby and Stephen Stills.

The legendary neighborhood, whose address belonged to far out musical minds like Jim Morrison and Frank Zappa, is now—according to a recent article in the Los Angeles Times Magazine—being revived by North Carolina musician Jonathan Wilson. Wilson, formerly of the band Muscadine with the fellow long-haired and bearded Benji Hughes, has rented a house in the neighborhood and organized jams for LA musicians, where everyone from Elvis Costello and Jenny Lewis to Tom Petty keyboardist Benmont Tench and members of the Black Crows, have taken residence for a night.

The jams have inspired and helped spawn several recent albums, including Lewis's 70s-tinged rocker Acid Tongue and Costello's Momofuku, which includes contributions from various Wednesday-night regulars.

“Wilson is a gentle and generous spirit," said singer/songwriter and current Lewis beau Johnathan Rice. "He’s one of the most talented people I’ve come across in my life. Jams at Jonathan’s have been some of the happiest times of my recent years. Willie Nelson put it best: 'The life I love is making music with my friends.’ ”

Jonathan Wilson - "Trials of Jonathan" (follow Wilson's Twitter for more tracks)

Johnathan Rice - "End of the Affair" ft. Jenny Lewis (from Further North)

Johnathan Rice - Further North

1 comment:

  1. if one wanted to join in on these sessions, how would you go about receiving an invite?