Paying homage to an Australian blues legend, Chris Wilson’s ‘Landlocked, Faithless & Free’ reissued

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Paying homage to an Australian blues legend, Chris Wilson’s ‘Landlocked, Faithless & Free’ reissued

Chris Wilson 'Landlocked, Faithless & Free' 30th Anniversary expanded reissue arrives on vinyl for the very first time.

Chris Wilson’s Landlocked, Faithless & Free is celebrating a very special 30th Anniversary Reissue that sees Chris Wilson’s original 1992 album Landlocked released on vinyl for the first time and expanded to a double LP/double CD with the inclusion of tracks from the associated CD EPs The Big One and Alimony Blues.

Landlocked was Chris Wilson – a giant of Australian blues and roots music – first solo album and it saw Wilson nominated for two ARIA Awards – for Best Male Artist and Breakthrough Artist, Album – and acclaimed by Rolling Stone as a “major talent”.  It followed his releases with the Crown of Thorns and Pub Dogs (see Cheersquad’s 2022 reissue of the Pub Dogs’ Scatter’s Liver) and preceded the classic live album Live At The Continental (which belatedly made the ARIA Top 20 album charts when reissued by Cheersquad in 2020).

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Landlocked was co-produced by Wilson, engineer Doug Roberts and guitarist Shane O’Mara, who is also known for his work with Paul Kelly amongst many others, including new Cheersquad signing, The Silversound. The rhythm section comprised Chris’ faithful sideman Chris ‘Dodgy’ Rogers on bass and erstwhile Paul Kelly drummer Peter LuscombeJen Anderson (Black Sorrows, Weddings Parties Anything) guested on violin, Evil Graham Lee (Triffids) on pedal steel and Rebecca Barnard (Rebecca’s Empire etc) on vocals.

The magnificent vinyl double album contains sixteen tracks – the original CD release’s twelve tracks, plus fine covers of The Saints’ “Ghost Ships”Albert King’s “Born Under a Bad Sign” (Max Crawdaddy still opens his blues show on 3RRR with it every week) and two stunning live medleys – Sly & The Family Stone’s “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” with Junior Walker’s “Shotgun”, and Kansas Joe & Memphis Minnie’s  “When The Levee Breaks” with John Lee Hooker’s “Burning Hell”. The double LP comes on black (disc one) and opaque yellow (disc two) vinyl. 

The double CD adds the four extra tracks: a live recording of “Wreckage”, and studio recordings of Gershwin’s “Summertime”Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine” and the jazz standard “Bye Bye Blackbird”, a song Chris’ mum Bet requested he record.

Chris Wilson, who passed away on January 16 2019, was inducted into the Music Victoria Hall of Fame by Paul Kelly in December 2020.

Remembering Chris Wilson: The gentleman of Australian blues

Wilson had been an enormous presence over decades on Melbourne’s vibrant live scene. He worked as a solo artist and alongside a host of artists including Diesel, X, Hunters & Collectors, Vika and Linda, Crowded House and Paul Kelly & The Messengers. He started out in R&B pub band the Sole Twisters and came to prominence in the mid-‘80s as a member of Melbourne post-punk blues band Harem Scarem. His distinctive harp playing can be heard on the classic Paul Kelly albums Gossip and Under The Sun – on the track “Dumb Things” in particular – and he toured the US with Kelly as a fully fledged Messenger in 1987.  He formed his own band Crown of Thorns the same year.

Chris’ musical legacy is now in the care of country-singing wife Sarah Carroll – of Git fame and more – and sons Fenn Wilson and George Carroll Wilson, both of whom are now establishing themselves as strong artists in their own right (George under the name Pollyman and as a member of the up-and-coming Bones & Jones).

Chris Wilson’s Landlocked, Faithless & Free is out now, just in time for Christmas. Order your copy here.