Wilson Gil

Wilson Gil & the Willful Sinners

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Though it bears a 1996 copyright, this disc didn't catch anyone's ears till 1998, when it became one of the more popular and surprising records to come out of the San Francisco area in recent years. Gil's trade is country but with a punk edge. Some might call it cowpunk, that thoroughly outre form that thrived in the early to mid-'80s -- but it's not that. Whereas the cowpunkers seemed to favor the rock form, Gil favors country but really doesn't have the background or the chops to go whole hog, so it ends up sounding a bit skewed. His deep voice doesn't seem to match the material which gives the project a Southern Gothic quality, much like Nick Cave's work, even though this is decidedly West Coast. The epic "Hell Yes I Lied (So What if I Did)" features Rick Derringer (!) and a host of local punk rockers fill out the rest of the lineup. A real anomaly, and much better than it sounds here.

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