Although guitarist Dan Wilson travels all over the world playing music, he’ll return to his hometown of Akron to record his second album in a live setting. Wilson, who has made his mark touring with jazz trumpeter and singer Joey DeFrancesco’s trio, plans to record his album “Balancing Act” June 23 at the BLU Jazz+ club in downtown Akron.
He’s currently raising funds through Kickstarter to help cover the production costs. Despite his success and notability, he says it’s difficult to get record label support for him and many artists. “Major record labels will not take a chance on an emerging artist,” says Wilson. “I also like the idea of having the community involved in the process. It gives the music a different kind of energy.”
And as for location, he says, “BLU has provided an amazing outlet for my imagination. I couldn’t think of anywhere else I would want to record.” Indeed, the downtown Akron club is a stopping point for modern jazz legends all over the globe.
The June 23 recording session will include two live sets, 7 and 9:30 p.m., along with a VIP Masterclass and reception at 5 p.m. For the album, Wilson will share the stage with Sullivan Fortner on piano, Ivan Taylor on bass, Xavier Breaker on drums and Akron’s Sam Blakeslee on trombone.
Wilson credits his love of jazz with an upbringing in gospel music. “I grew up playing a particular type of gospel music that closely resembled jazz. The first time I heard a jazz record, I thought to myself, ‘this is just church music with a couple more chords.’ That was about 15 years ago. Something about it keeps feeding my imagination. I’m thankful that it also helps pay the bills.”
Recording an album live presents a number of difficulties: there’s the pressure of getting it right without starting the song over (which one has the freedom to do in the studio), along with so many other unknowns. But Wilson wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I’ll take a live album over a studio album regardless of genre,” he says. “There is a spontaneous energy that you just don’t get from being in a studio. Check out Paul Simon’s ‘Concert In The Park.’ The roar from the audience when Paul sings the first words of ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ is actually part of the song.”
The crowdfunding campaign ends in four days. To visit the Kickstarter link and contribute, visit www.kickstarter.com/projects/danwilson/balancing-act-dan-wilsons-second-album. For info about Wilson, visit www.danwilsonguitar.com.