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Sam Wilson — Wintertides
(Bandcamp no#, 2024, CD / DL)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2024-05-05

Wintertides Cover art

Nova Scotia based guitarist Sam Wilson has been plying her craft for many years. Her first EP, Into a Heart, dates to 2017, and her releases have kept a steady pace since that time, as well as her work with collaborator Andrew Jackson in the Jackson-Wilson Duo; Wintertides is Wilson’s fourth full-length release. In 2020 she made the decision to move to Scotsburn in rural Nova Scotia about 150 km from Halifax, which in the middle of the pandemic proved to be troubling, especially when the province’s brutal winter season hit. An opportunity presented itself in the form of a residency on Galliano Island in British Columbia, where she would propose creating music comparing the winter seasons on both the east and west coasts of her Canadian homeland, and thus the impetus for Wintertides was born. The music presented across the album’s ten instrumental tracks is most certainly descriptive of such origins, an immersive contemplation that has one foot firmly in a fingerstyle folk idiom, and the other in lively jazz creations, taken together producing a brilliant hybrid of chamber styles that moves freely between what she describes as melancholic pastoralism. Joining Wilson on this journey are string bassist Geordie Hart and drummer Jen Yakamovich, together underscoring much of the jazz stylings that are heard on Wilson’s compositions. The opener, “Light through the Bend,” provides a tasty opening into the strength, beauty and emotion of all that follows. The listener eases gently “Into the Hollow,” which is at once catchy and reflective, starting and stopping numerous times as it proceeds. A slow envelopment, “The Moon Song” presents a welcoming and mystifying soundworld of tasty licks, while the title track closes the set with some beautiful slide work over bowed bass and drums. There’s plenty herein to woo a discerning listener into Wilson’s unique musical world.

Filed under: New releases, 2024 releases

Related artist(s): Sam Wilson

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