DANNY WILKERSON (Arlington, TX)
One of the great honors of Big Stir Records' partnership with the mighty SPYDERPOP RECORDS is the chance to showcase the wonderful music of DANNY WILKERSON.
He’s been a Mayor, a Pickle, and a Pengwin. He’s played music all over the world, sang on a Weird Al Yankovic record, and recorded at Abbey Road Studios. Danny Wilkerson has accomplished quite a bit since he first began playing music as a youngster, but there’s one thing he hadn’t been able to check off his bucket list until 2018's release of his first solo album WILKERSON. That record, produced by Bleu McAuley, would go on to top many “Year's Best” lists across the global pop-rock world and is ranked by many as a modern classic. With a digital relaunch of Wilkerson slated for this summer, along with the arrival at our webstore of the record's gorgeous vinyl edition, we're confident that a wider swath of the world will agree.
But first, a bit of background. Like so many musicians, Danny cut his teeth on the music of The Beatles, and he received his first drum kit on his thirteenth birthday. (Never one to waste time, he set about forming a band the very next day.) Eventually he hooked up with Texas pop/rock legends The Pengwins, who opened shows for artists such as Cheap Trick, Joe Ely, and the Beach Boys, recorded at Abbey Road, and performed all over the world. Danny has also played in a variety of cover bands, including The Pickles (“they were a big dill for a while”) and Generation Rumble (“we played only what we wanted to hear”). In addition to his musical pursuits, Danny also served as Mayor of Annetta North, TX for four years.
But although Danny's list of achievements was impressive and expansive, the release of Wilkerson was still a watershed and a revelation. The record turned out to be a bi-coastal affair: half the album was recorded at Bleu’s studio and Taylor Locke’s Velveteen Laboratory in Los Angeles and mixed by Grammy-nominated David Spreng, who has worked with Bob Dylan and Alice Cooper; the other half was tracked in Boston at two-time Grammy winning Ducky Carlisle’s (Flashcubes, The Major Labels) studio with Carlisle mixing, as well as drumming on a few tunes. Other luminaries who offer vocal and instrumental support on Wilkerson include Roger Joseph Manning Jr. (Jellyfish, Beck, Imperial Drag); Joe Sieders (The New Pornographers); the Boston Symphony Strings; Josh Kaufman (Season six’s winner on The Voice); and Pat Buchanan (Idle Jets, Hall & Oates, Cyndi Lauper, Don Henley).
Marquee names aside, the stars of the record – as with any SpyderPop release – are the songs. They feature peerless musicianship and thoughtful lyrics, which mesh perfectly with Wilkerson’s pure, emotive lead vocals. The album is truly a feast for the ears – one listen and you’ll be hooked. With the release of Wilkerson, not only did Danny Wilkerson cross a major item off his bucket list, he created a singular album hailed by critics and fans alike as one of the finest records of 2018. We can't wait to bring it to more waiting ears this summer.
BIG STIR RECORDS and SPYDERPOP RECORDS are proud to jointly announce the August 20 relaunch of WILKERSON, the solo debut album from DANNY WILKERSON, as a deluxe vinyl package, CD, and worldwide digital streaming release. The record is up for preorder now at www.bigstirrecords.com/store and www.bigstirrecords.bandcamp.com and will be available to all destinations in the US, UK and EU for domestic shipping prices for the first time, and streaming and up for download on a wider range of platforms than ever before.
Celebrated as the Best Album of 2018 (John Borack, Goldmine Magazine) among many other accolades upon its original release, WILKERSON stands to reach a wider audience with the captivating blend of songcraft, passion, and world-class production work from BLEU MCAULEY that captured tuned-in ears the first time around. The re-launch is accompanied by a new single, the soaring, radio-perfect “You Still Owe Me A Kiss” and its B-side, the exuberant horn-driven “Enough For Somebody”. Both tracks stand to join “Let It Go Tonight”, the lead single from the initial release, in garnering international airplay and winning new fans for DANNY and the record.
It's rare that a beloved sideman emerges as a vibrant and talented artist in his own right, and rarer still that his first solo effort qualifies as a genuine masterpiece. DANNY WILKERSON is such an artist, and WILKERSON is such an album. Armed with a set of tunes that would constitute a greatest hits album for most singer-songwriters and an instantly appealing and frankly fantastic voice, Wilkerson dives into the collaboration with BLEU and emerges with something magical. WILKERSON hops genre lines with ease, blending diverse decades of the pop-rock tradition into a singular and heady brew, with echoes of everyone from ELO to The Beach Boys to (naturally) The Beatles and the very best solo work of Sir Paul McCartney.
Kicking off of with the ambitious psychedelic swirl of “Everybody Loves To Love”, the album touches soulfully on everything that might have topped the charts in another era. The singles are clearly hits waiting to happen, and the same is true of “How She Lost My Heart” (a jangly rocker that brings to mind Tom Petty in peak form) and the Supertramp vibe of “Too Much Of A Good Thing.” But the sweep of WILKERSON also embraces the jaw-dropping orchestral majesty of “Endless Haze”, the classy and classic balladry of “When You're Number's Up” and “Carry The One”, and the beautiful piano-based closer “Comes In Waves.”
There's an all-star guest cast, too, from former members of Jellyfish and The New Pornographers to the Boston Symphony Strings. Tying it all together are BLEU's lush, immaculate production, the gorgeously elaborate visual design by Dan Zimmer (the LP edition is truly a world unto itself) and, always, DANNY's swooping, addictive voice. WILKERSON was hailed the first time around as a modern classic. Those who've heard it already know why, and those who are about to discover it are soon to agree.