121

U.P. Wilson: On My Way

Ed Kopp By

Sign in to view read count
Ace Texas guitarist U.P. Wilson had some ups and downs in 1999. One of U.P.'s biggest ups was the re-release of his great 1988 album On My Way. His biggest down was spending the first month of the year behind bars. Wilson was arrested in May 1998 for possession of crack cocaine and served a six-month sentence at John R. Lindsey State Jail in Texas.

Hopefully Wilson has cleaned up his act, because he's an uncommon blues talent. On My Way is an excellent collection of fiery Texas blues featuring the leader's raucous guitar, a funky horn section, and some driving original tunes.

Wilson was a legend on the Dallas-Fort Worth blues scene when PeeWee records owner Eddie Stout convinced him to record On My Way in 1988. A bigger seller in Europe than the States, the album made Wilson a fixture on the European blues circuit and led to a recording contract with London's JSP Records. Moreover, it allowed Wilson to quit his job as janitor.

Listening to the first cut "U.P. Express", it's easy to comprehend why Stevie Ray Vaughan cited U.P. Wilson as one of his major influences. Wilson's brand of blues bridges the gap between the swinging Texas style of T-Bone Walker and the louder, more rock-oriented approach popularized by Vaughan.

Wilson's music is loose, rhythmic and funky. His voice is remindful of Johnny "Guitar" Watson's, and his axe-work is raw and highly distinctive. The incendiary shuffle "Como Station" and the jumpin' "U.P. Express" are classic blues instrumentals, and the vocal tracks are almost as great. Fedora has augmented the original 10 tracks with two excellent live cuts recorded with harmonicat Paul Orta and his top-notch band.

Hopefully the 64-year-old U.P. Wilson can stay out of trouble and re-commit himself to the blues. The man sure enough plays a hellish guitar.


Title: On My Way | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Fedora Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Déjà Vu CD/LP/Track Review Déjà Vu
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 20, 2017
Read Woody Guthrie - The Tribute Concerts CD/LP/Track Review Woody Guthrie - The Tribute Concerts
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 20, 2017
Read Two in a Box CD/LP/Track Review Two in a Box
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 20, 2017
Read Discussions CD/LP/Track Review Discussions
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 20, 2017
Read Just Friends: Live at the Village Vanguard CD/LP/Track Review Just Friends: Live at the Village Vanguard
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio CD/LP/Track Review Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 19, 2017
Read "Onward" CD/LP/Track Review Onward
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 2, 2017
Read "The Darkening Blue" CD/LP/Track Review The Darkening Blue
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 5, 2016
Read "Signs" CD/LP/Track Review Signs
by Doug Collette
Published: September 10, 2017
Read "Marseille" CD/LP/Track Review Marseille
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 28, 2017
Read "Godspeed" CD/LP/Track Review Godspeed
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 14, 2016
Read "Seasons 1-4 Live" CD/LP/Track Review Seasons 1-4 Live
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: January 6, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.