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Jonathan Wilson — Desert Raven
Album: Gentle Spirit
Avg rating:
7.4

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1534









Released: 2011
Length: 7:52
Plays (last 30 days): 1
Fuzzy white haze in the asphalt was a lake
And the sand it was a grayer shade of blue
Spirits held desire while my eyes they did admire
The evening that we only thought we knew

Further out to sea I heard the birds wings over me
the Vibrations in the air to my ears
The sun was rising slinking low the day was saddled up to go
The desert's lonely nightfall disappears

The raven who flies through the desert skies
Is wiser than you or me
The birds have a peace, the stillness a sleeve
And the Desert Raven he has poetry

Close your eyes and fly to let the diamonds make the night
Crystal blue will turn to ruby red
The plants become a maze under the heavens stary hazel
Pegasus he gallops overhead

The buffalo at night they follow close the river's edge while
saffron slowly grows inside the caves
The starry minds of hyacinth the moon below the sun's eclipse
The sandy canyon floats beyond the waves

The raven who flies through the desert skies
Is wiser than you or me
The birds have a peace, the stillness a sleeve
And the Desert Raven he has poetry
Comments (104)add comment
 Grammarcop wrote:
I read a journal article this week that documented just how smart ravens are. They are among the few species that can delay a reward for a larger reward and can plan ahead. 

As far as we know, there are only two other groups of species that are capable of this advanced thought: humans and the great apes. 
 

Seems humans might be losing this ability with the advent of one click instant gratification on our mobile devices.  Who needs to delay when you can have it all now?

I like this song. -> 9
 Proclivities wrote:

The raven would probably know that grammatically, the lyric should be "...wiser than you or I".  Maybe that was the songwriter's point though.

 
Actually, "wiser than you or me" is correct
Wow. This is from 2011? Really good song. Classical.
 Ihatethissong wrote:
Wait,!  whoah!  I could have sworn I heard this in my childhood!  I am stone cold sober, but this has tripped me the heck out.

Taking me a while to process that Jonathan Spencer Wilson is younger that I am.

Normally I would feel the need for expletives to properly express how this song hit me.
as it is I am using line spacing and any other gimmick I can think of to convey how strongly this song felt like something I heard long ago and many times.  In a good way.

Sorry for the rambling and grammatically incorrect words.
 
Well FWIW, when I'm humming it a few hours after hearing, my humming sometimes morphs into Fleetwood Mac's Albatross, and sometimes into Neil Young's Down by the River.
 
Part of the reason people here are connecting it to so many different acts is because it has so many elements: strong verse melody, strong chorus melody, and that repeated guitar section, all with their own different moods.
 
Wilson should be very proud of the way he put this together!
another good find ! love love RP
Tell me this gets better...oh wait, it does...
 westslope wrote:
It is fun to read all the comparisons with famous artists of old.

I hear a little CSNY FWIW.  The song grows with additional listens so it cannot be that bad.  
 

I concur with all parallels above and below... and now I'm even hearing David Gilmour singing this with early Floyd
I like this more every time I hear it.
Thanks RP for introducing me to someone I may never have heard otherwise. Again.
You all are missing the Yes influence here. Along with the other 70s threads.
 mread wrote:

You are not the only one!  Nor are we, apparently.  I know I've heard that stringy guitar sound long ago, have never been able to place it ... maybe an old Seals & Crofts B-side or something.  Anyway, it bugs me every time this excellent track comes on.  8.

 
or old, old Fleetwood Mac....
 Ihatethissong wrote:
Wait,!  whoah!  I could have sworn I heard this in my childhood!  I am stone cold sober, but this has tripped me the heck out.

Taking me a while to process that Jonathan Spencer Wilson is younger that I am.

...
 
You are not the only one!  Nor are we, apparently.  I know I've heard that stringy guitar sound long ago, have never been able to place it ... maybe an old Seals & Crofts B-side or something.  Anyway, it bugs me every time this excellent track comes on.  8.
 Ihatethissong wrote:
Wait,!  whoah!  I could have sworn I heard this in my childhood!  I am stone cold sober, but this has tripped me the heck out.

Taking me a while to process that Jonathan Spencer Wilson is younger that I am.

Normally I would feel the need for expletives to properly express how this song hit me.
as it is I am using line spacing and any other gimmick I can think of to convey how strongly this song felt like something I heard long ago and many times.  In a good way.

Sorry for the rambling and grammatically incorrect words.
 

I get it.  This song has a very classic psychedelic feel.  I was also thinking it seemed familiar, and that it would be much older.  Very unexpected.  Definitely enjoying this.  Trippy!  {#Daisy}
 garyalex wrote:
"The raven who flies through the desert skies is wiser than you or me"  Oh yeah?  Let's ask that raven to explain the relationship between entropy and the second law of thermodynamics.  Bet he can't do that.  But then, neither can I.
 
That's knowledge, not wisdom.  
Wait,!  whoah!  I could have sworn I heard this in my childhood!  I am stone cold sober, but this has tripped me the heck out.

Taking me a while to process that Jonathan Spencer Wilson is younger that I am.

Normally I would feel the need for expletives to properly express how this song hit me.
as it is I am using line spacing and any other gimmick I can think of to convey how strongly this song felt like something I heard long ago and many times.  In a good way.

Sorry for the rambling and grammatically incorrect words.
Excellent muscian-craftmanship - the guy is also leader of rogers waters touring-band and therefore part of refreshing but still classic preservation work of classic floyd tunes.
a true genius which slipped from the majorites radar.
 garyalex wrote:
"The raven who flies through the desert skies is wiser than you or me"  Oh yeah?  Let's ask that raven to explain the relationship between entropy and the second law of thermodynamics.  Bet he can't do that.  But then, neither can I.
 
The raven would probably know that grammatically, the lyric should be "...wiser than you or I".  Maybe that was the songwriter's point though.

"The raven who flies through the desert skies is wiser than you or me"  Oh yeah?  Let's ask that raven to explain the relationship between entropy and the second law of thermodynamics.  Bet he can't do that.  But then, neither can I.
Well, certainly something is taken from Robert Charlebois circa 1968 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhXfkXNZ1TI
It is fun to read all the comparisons with famous artists of old.

I hear a little CSNY FWIW.  The song grows with additional listens so it cannot be that bad.  
 sfyi2001 wrote:
Nightmarish flashbacks of riding a nameless horse, in search of a golden haired sister or something   {#Stop}

 
Its all good baby baby, turn on tune in and drop out
 Historys_Fools wrote:
Good tune but that intro harshes my mellow.

 
Yeah I hate it. Took one rating point off for that.
Good tune but that intro harshes my mellow.
 ScottishWillie wrote:

Compared, just on this page, to:

Seals & Crofts, Fleetwood Mac, CSN, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Steve Miller, YES, El Chicano, Camel, Wishbone Ash, Dark Star, Eagles, America, Pablo Cruise, Eels, Moody Blues, Neil Young and Quicksilver Messenger Service.

Wow!!!



 
Add Jefferson Airplane/Starship to the list!  But in a good way...
What the heck Jefferson Airplane song does this take me back to??
Per the previous comment very reminiscent of America or for me more like CSN/CSNY but I like it!
Nightmarish flashbacks of riding a nameless horse, in search of a golden haired sister or some shit - stop.
Please make it stop  {#Stop}

For me this feels like comparing Rumer to Karen Carpenter.  She may have a beautiful voice and be surrounded with talent, but it's not real.  The Carpenters were one thing.  Be something else, surely.
Wonderful melody!
Looking at the world
Through the sunset in your eyes
Trying to make the train
Through clear Moroccan skies
Oh look!  It's Pablo Cruise, Jr.!   {#Cheesygrin}
I read a journal article this week that documented just how smart ravens are. They are among the few species that can delay a reward for a larger reward and can plan ahead. 

As far as we know, there are only two other groups of species that are capable of this advanced thought: humans and the great apes. 
{#Sunny}
 i thought i was listing in to seals and crofts??
Segue wrote:


{#Lol} {#Roflol} {#Roflol}

 


really really trippy. love it!
 

coloradojohn wrote:
Such a cool song! It pays homage to all the greats, yet explores new territory. I dig the echoes of Fleetwood Mac and CSN. Trippy, too!

 


 ScottishWillie wrote:

Compared, just on this page, to:

Seals & Crofts, Fleetwood Mac, CSN, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Steve Miller, YES, El Chicano, Camel, Wishbone Ash, Dark Star, Eagles, America, Pablo Cruise, Eels, Moody Blues, Neil Young and Quicksilver Messenger Service.

Wow!!!



 
Double Wow!  I'm rating it an 8, +1 for the large number of "sounds like" artists - and it really does sound like it came from the 70s.  Crazy good stuff here!

LONG LIVE RP! TRUTH PEACE LOVE HAPPINESS UNDERSTANDING


Nice. But I would not guess that this is a recent song: thought I was from the '70-s
Yup I'm getting America and Pink Floyd at the end

Compared, just on this page, to:

Seals & Crofts, Fleetwood Mac, CSN, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Steve Miller, YES, El Chicano, Camel, Wishbone Ash, Dark Star, Eagles, America, Pablo Cruise, Eels, Moody Blues, Neil Young and Quicksilver Messenger Service.

Wow!!!


Cool.
Familiar while not at the same time.
I'm getting a Pink-Floyd-meets-Seals-&-Crofts vibe from this one.
 jocelynsart wrote:
Has a sort of Seals & Crofts sound, if I recall right. This song is kind of growing on me every time I hear it.

 
"Summer breeze, makes me feel fine..."

Yeah, I hear that. 
Such a cool song! It pays homage to all the greats, yet explores new territory. I dig the echoes of Fleetwood Mac and CSN. Trippy, too!
 DrLex wrote:

Indeed, this must have been distilled from pure 70s essence.

 
Remember when you'd stay up for "Don Kirshner's Rock Concert" (after SNL) and you'd hear stuff like this that turned rock music into a punishment? 

This isn't so bad to listen to now, but I have to wonder why JW copied the 70s so slavishly.  
I like all the "sounds like" comments - here's mine: Emerson Lake and Palmer, particularly From the Beginning. Cool song.
 jocelynsart wrote:
I always say that this is a very 70s sounding song.

 
Indeed, this must have been distilled from pure 70s essence.
Reminds me of "Fly like an eagle" by Steve Miller
Reminds me of the signature guitar lines of- YES - The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus)    From Fragile 1971
El Chicano riff in there. Tell her she's lovely.
 
 LowPhreak wrote:

Yeah I like it. Reminds me of Camel...or something...{#Think}

 
or Wishbone Ash?
 jocelynsart wrote:
I always say that this is a very 70s sounding song.

 
Yeah I like it. Reminds me of Camel...or something...{#Think}
I always say that this is a very 70s sounding song.
 SmackDaddy wrote:
Dark Star anyone?

 
On purpose. His catalog is a nice homage to some great old musicians' styles.
 SmackDaddy wrote:
Dark Star anyone?

 
Along the same lines maybe, and a cool tune too (Dark Star, that is)
Dark Star anyone?
Just changed from a '7' to an '8' {#Cheers}
This is good for my ears {#Music} 

I had to check the lyrics, the word is "asphalt". {#Smile}

Nice!
 Paul_Williams wrote:
Guitar riff also reminiscent of the late Chris Squire's 'The Fish', from Fragile (Yes, 1971). Just chucking that one in there.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJu-AnzyQBI

 
I think that would be Steve Howe's guitar riff on The Fish.  Chris Squire would be responsible for those bass notes that sound like Godzilla's footsteps. 
I love old Fleetwood Mac.
Why have I never heard this before? It's amazing 
He's has a fantastic rhythm on the acoustic, I can't deny him that. Growing on me.
First time I've seen a nevermore working in this context.
 GeneP59 wrote:
The next saga to a Horse with No Name

{#Music} 

 
You're absolutely right about it! :)) 
The next saga to a Horse with No Name

{#Music} 
Love this song so much
A wonderfully awesome outstanding beautiful piece 
 pinto wrote:

Listen to "The Fish" from Yes' Fragile album - the guitar riff from Jonathan Wilson in this song is dangerously close to being a direct ripoff of Yes' work

 
It sounds like a descending scale (Phrygian?)  — more like an exercise than a riff, but nothing dangerous about it.  Who knows, maybe he's even heard that Yes song and was influenced by it?
This sounds good.  I open with un 8.
Has a sort of Seals & Crofts sound, if I recall right. This song is kind of growing on me every time I hear it.
 Paul_Williams wrote:
Guitar riff also reminiscent of the late Chris Squire's 'The Fish', from Fragile

 

You're right
 kingart wrote:
The producer put that bass line on a loop. Almost monotonous. Was a human playing that thing? 

 
I don't mind the bass, but there were points in the song when it was crying out for a change of gear and all we got was a very simple synth break on top of the same background.
Still gave it an 8 though - only second listen and for the second time it caught my attention enough to stop what I was doing and look at the comments {#Dance}


 agkagk wrote:

Good call. I'm hearing influences from early Fleetwood Mac (circa Future Games) and Dave Mason.

 
Listen to "The Fish" from Yes' Fragile album - the guitar riff from Jonathan Wilson in this song is dangerously close to being a direct ripoff of Yes' work
Nice song!
Guitar riff also reminiscent of the late Chris Squire's 'The Fish', from Fragile (Yes, 1971). Just chucking that one in there.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJu-AnzyQBI
 misterbearbaby wrote:

So he's undertaken to "recapture" Fleetwood Mac Future Games? A "RECAPTURE BAND!" Jeez, dud- try something original. This is the kind of music that must leave foreign listeners saying "Jeepers creepers! All American music sounds exactly the same... you know- I been to the desert on a horse with no name badada dada da da dah...." "

 
 ScottishWillie wrote:

Being pedantic I think Fleetwood Mac of the Future Games era still qualified as British music and as a 'foreign listener' I would never accuse American music of sounding the same.
I would agree that Wilson has “been to a desert on a horse with no name” to pillaged the early 70’s for inspiration. However I can cope with a pastiche when it sounds as good as this.  


Also, "Horse With No Name" was written by Dewey Bunnell, who was born in Yorkshire, England.
 ScottishWillie wrote:
 Thanks for sharing this info.
Even the album art is from 1972

 


Yes, great retro Califonia Rock style.  I thought it might be some deep cut from an old Eagles album, but the Stills comparisons are spot on, too.
Yeah...really digging the Stills-like arrangements and fills here... Trippy! Hazy, obscure lyrics sung in a lazy, tropicalic way...Bravo, RP!
I say{#Cheers} most excellent!
 rabaak wrote:
I thought I was listening to Pablo Cruise.

 

{#Lol} {#Roflol} {#Roflol}
I thought I was listening to Pablo Cruise.
Very 70's pop rock sound, with slightly Eels-sounding vocals.
What's not to like?
I did get slightly annoyed at the very Rambin'-Man-esque repetitive guitar work toward the end there, but overall, I like it.
This guy caught my attention a couple of years ago jamming with Bob Weir in his TRI studios. I like his sound. Finally someone I discovered that I didn't hear on RP first!
 misterbearbaby wrote:
So he's undertaken to "recapture" Fleetwood Mac Future Games? A "RECAPTURE BAND!" Jeez, dud- try something original. This is the kind of music that must leave foreign listeners saying "Jeepers creepers! All American music sounds exactly the same... you know- I been to the desert on a horse with no name badada dada da da dah...." "
 

Being pedantic I think Fleetwood Mac of the Future Games era still qualified as British music and as a 'foreign listener' I would never accuse American music of sounding the same.

I would agree that Wilson has “been to a desert on a horse with no name” to pillaged the early 70’s for inspiration. However I can cope with a pastiche when it sounds as good as this. 


 ScottishWillie wrote:
 
Even the album art is from 1972

 
So he's undertaken to "recapture" Fleetwood Mac Future Games? A "RECAPTURE BAND!" Jeez, dud- try something original. This is the kind of music that must leave foreign listeners saying "Jeepers creepers! All American music sounds exactly the same... you know- I been to the desert on a horse with no name badada dada da da dah...." "
A syncopation of moods and melodies! {#Cheers}
 Phlegmaticman wrote:
This guy is definitely a time traveler from 1972. 

From his Amazon Bio:

"Wilson’s music is steeped equally in the woodsy contours of his Blue Ridge experiences and the atmospheric guitar reveries of Neil Young and Quicksilver Messenger Service. In fact, “Gentle Spirit,” an expansive double vinyl set, is remarkably evocative of that golden late ‘60s, early ‘70s period when rural and urban sensibilities colluded in producing some of rock’s most imperishable recordings.

It should then come as no surprise that Wilson, so resolutely committed to “old school” musical values, began recording “Gentle Spirit” in Los Angeles’s fabled Laurel Canyon. As a longtime student of “Canyon culture,” his ideas echo many of an earlier generation as the album embraces a unique blend of folk, country, rock and roll and pop elements, which enduringly create a sense of time and place."

   
Even the album art is from 1972
Moody Blues influence
this is a groooovy jam
 
Getting lost in this.....ha
 
 Alexandra wrote:
That nails-on-a-chalkboard intro almost ruined this awesome song for me and made me hit PDS. Especially just after the dreamy ending to "Sleepwalk." Why couldn't have just begun with the melodious guitar?

 
I think I actually said what the heck? out loud.
That nails-on-a-chalkboard intro almost ruined this awesome song for me and made me hit PDS. Especially just after the dreamy ending to "Sleepwalk." Why couldn't have just begun with the melodious guitar?
 agkagk wrote:

Good call. I'm hearing influences from early Fleetwood Mac (circa Future Games) and Dave Mason.

 
Good call on these references too. His other tune played on RP (Cecil Taylor) he comes across like Steven Stills.

Bill, let us hear some more tracks from Mr. Jonathan Wilson!
 Phlegmaticman wrote:
This guy is definitely a time traveler from 1972. 

 
Good call. I'm hearing influences from early Fleetwood Mac (circa Future Games) and Dave Mason.
Time travel is groovy
Tasty!
Not my taste
 kingart wrote:
The producer put that bass line on a loop. Almost monotonous. Was a human playing that thing? 

 
Apparently Jonathan Wilson produced and plays all the instruments on this tune.  The bass line does not sound like a loop at all - especially in the instrumental parts.  However, bass lines - as part of a rhythm section - generally repeat their phrases.
Whoa.  Maybe a discovery for me here.  This is light, entrancing and all-around groovy.  Definitely time traveler as noted!

Most of album for free on Amazon Prime; I'm going to dig into this Jonathan Wilson more.

-Will (entertainscape.com) 
The producer put that bass line on a loop. Almost monotonous. Was a human playing that thing? 
I like it. Sounds a little like America, Ambrosia and the Grateful Dead all thrown into the pot together.
This guy is definitely a time traveler from 1972.