This is the Oslo father-daughter duo Eberson's second single from the album coming later this year. The previous track released, ‘Strange Highway’, was an epic rapid-fire jazz-prog piece which took off like an Iron Dome battery and which featured dad and daughter in equal measure but this time out beauty gives way to age as Jon Eberson comes to the fore and reminds us on ‘The Wounded Wolf’ what guitar playing used to sound like before Ed Sheeran and Lewis Capaldi set the new gold standard.
Yes, it really is that good. Don’t expect Yngwie Malmsteen-like blistering pace and strings on fire, he isn’t that sort of musician but every note is picked out, caressed, stretched or reverbed as if his life depended on it; the product of decades of know-how and experience. Despite the expert backing from some top musicians (Axel Skalstad, Jo Berger Myhre, Rune Arnesen) he owns this song. Hendrix, Clapton and Eberson? Apart from the fact that it sounds like a firm of solicitors specialising in juvenile delinquent street crime, would he pass muster in that sort of company? I think so.
In all honesty though it takes me back to the late 1960s and early 1970s (when I wasn’t born of course), to venues like Fillmore East, and groundbreaking festivals like Monterey Pop, and Woodstock, naturally,and incomparable jam bands like the Grateful Dead and the Allman Brothers blasting out fusions of rock, folk, country, jazz, bluegrass, blues, and psychedelic rock to an audience that had never heard anything like it before. His is a guitar sound that somehow belongs in that era and one we rarely hear these days. We are all the poorer for it.
A little promotion for the song on social media paints it as “a dreamy and cinematic song that awakens associations to old western films, empty plains and a wounded wolf.” Yep, I can easily imagine, in the early bars, the High Plains Drifter/Man with No Name riding silently into town, complete with poncho, Stetson, cheroot and Smith & Wesson pistol.
As for the lupine element I couldn’t help but think of ‘The Revenant 2 – Revenge of the Wolf’ then I remembered it was a bear that made the mistake of looking for a fight with Hugh Glass. An honest mistake on my part, but then there are constellations of both bears and wolves in the sky and that’s where the heavenly guitar solo belongs.
Eberson is starting to have the same cachet and gravitas as ‘Peterson’ if you get my drift, or Corea (I can’t find another appropriate artist ending in ‘son’, so much for my musical knowledge). The album promises to be a classic of its type and, judging from the first two tracks, if it doesn’t make waves
internationally I’ll invite the Taliban around for tea and cucumber sandwiches.
Incidentally, I read that the seemingly workaholic Marte Eberson is recording her second solo album right now. That’s apart from what she also does with her dad, Löv, Husmo HAV, Ane Brun and Lord knows who else. There’s just no stopping these folks.
‘The Wounded Wolf’ was released on Friday 20th August.