A Treasured Spare Key

Jack Wilson has always been a wandering spirit, spending a good portion of his life touring or simply enjoying his travels. But when tragedy struck last year, travel became a way of dealing with – or running away from – overwhelming grief.

Wilson was at Fluff & Gravy Studios in Portland working on his new album when he received the news about a shooting at The Café Racer in Seattle, where he’d played countless times and made many friends. Some of those friends had lost their lives.

It was almost more than Wilson could bear. He set out on tour, taking only his dog Finn for company. Solitude and non-stop touring seemed to be the only ways to battle the pain. But the entire time, through the despair, music remained the light at the end of the tunnel. He would eventually return to pour his entire heart and soul into the only thing that could pull him out of the darkness. That is how Spare Key came to be.

According to Wilson, most of what you hear on the album was recorded within a week, an impressive feat considering it’s lush beauty and breadth of emotion. Yet there is little room to doubt the experience was cathartic. You hear it in the lyrics. You feel it in its quieter moments, and its climactic heights.

Make plans to see Jack Wilson perform at his album release show tonight at the Mohawk, 912 Red River. The bill includes sets by The Preservation and songwriter Roger Sellers. Doors open at 9 p.m. A phenomenal show, indeed. Highly recommended.

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