Jim Wilson,
This Old House
(Ringo, 2005)

"Southern Town" draws you right into this album. The sound, sentiment and performance remind me of the early recordings of Bruce Springsteen. The lyrics of this song speak to our understanding of all small towns, worldwide. As someone once remarked, "write about the local and you will reach a global audience."

Jim Wilson has an eye for detail and the talent to write it into his songs. This is very evident on "My Neighbourhood." Again he takes truths that we all can empathize with. Urbanization is a sort of curse whether in America, Africa or Ireland. We must take the good with the bad, but we do not get to choose. A telling section of the song recalls a neighbour who was not liked. He moved and what replaced him was worse. Now he would welcome him back. Ever found that?

My top track on the album is "Old Hands." It pays tribute to veterans of past conflict. In particular, this is for his grandfather. It does not glorify war but it eulogizes those who found themselves in the middle of battles not of their making. I loved the fiddle section. The wonderful "Somebody Else's Dream" has a classic sound that fits beautifully with lyrics and sentiments.

This album is a family in music and song. The CD comes with an insert decorated by one of the next generation of Wilsons.

by Nicky Rossiter
25 March 2006

Buy it from Amazon.com.