David Wilson


In the ‘60s, David Wilson was the publisher and editor of Broadside of Boston, one of the founding directors and sometimes editor of Boston’s underground newspaper, Avatar. He started a record distribution company, Riverboat Records, left it for several years and and later returned to be its manager. He also managed at one time or another two Boston coffeehouses, Café Yana and The Odyssey and a short lived video theater, The Video Frontier. He was director of Folk Music for MIT’s FM station, a writer for WGBH TV’s “Folk Music USA,“ and the Peabody winning ‘What’s Happening Mr. Silver?” He has an abiding interest in the field of traditional, Americana, roots and folk music while still finding much to his liking in many other forms as well. Off and on, these days, he works at developing his concept of video as gallery art.

Recent Articles:

  • Blues For Christmas - Part II Music

    Blues in the city.

    By: David Wilson - Dec 15th, 2014

    As Blues performers moved into urban areas, style and technique became more dominant, all too often at the expense of taste. Not so for these four grand albums that reflect many of the variations of the urban hybrids and pay tasteful homage to the adaptability and the complexity of the root forms.

  • Blues For Christmas - Part I Music

    Homage to Roots

    By: David Wilson - Dec 14th, 2014

    Here are four recent releases that honor the roots of the Blues. Each of them would make a worthy addition to the cd shelves of eclectic listeners of music and most Blues fans.

  • Ear Say: Closing Out 2013 Music

    This, Too Long Left Unsaid

    By: David Wilson - Feb 02nd, 2014

    2013 got a bit complicated at its end and I find myself struggling to catch up with writing of those events, sorting out the ones on which I want to comment and deciding which deserve sharing.

  • Remembering Folk Legend Pete Seeger Music

    We're All Brothers And We're Only Passing Through

    By: David Wilson - Feb 02nd, 2014

    I have few if any idols in my pantheon, but if there is anyone that I admired enough to put there, Pete Seeger might well be the one.

  • Instrumental Magic Music

    String Madness and Accord

    By: David Wilson - Nov 25th, 2013

    I generally avoid reviewing cd’s that are void of singing, so it is with some trepidation that I approach these two releases, and would with even greater hesitation were it not that each of them delights, astounds and begs me to listen to them repeatedly and often.

  • Ear Say: Those Harmonizing Ladies II Music

    The Sweetback Sisters, The Boxcar Lilies, The Carper Family

    By: David Wilson - Nov 11th, 2013

    I am attracted to any group, male, female or mixed that effectively use vocal harmonies. Only rarely in my limited attempts to sing along with others have I found myself able to find that sweet harmonizing position. I have great respect for those who seem to effortlessly slip in and out of it.

  • Riverside Blues & BBQ Festival - 2013 Music

    We Listened, Tasted, and Smelled the Smoke.

    By: David Wilson - Oct 21st, 2013

    It had a lot going in its favor not the least of which is a $5 ticket for three and a half hours of solid blues performances each day and an opportunity to sample a variety of BBQ. We make a point not to miss the annual Greenfield’s Green River Music Festival.

  • Revival - A Novel by Scott Alarik Music

    A Fable Of The Cambridge Folk Community

    By: David Wilson - Oct 20th, 2013

    Alarik's credentials are extensive and diverse. He has been a performer, a songwriter, has written folk music commentary for the Boston Globe and published an earlier collection of his writings, “Deep Community: Adventures in the Modern Folk Underground.” His renown as a chronicler of the folk scene leaves me green with envy.

  • EarSay On Stage Music

    Sidi Touré, Beggar's Ride and The Boxcar Lillies

    By: David Wilson - Oct 07th, 2013

    An old friend of mine once noted, "You can always tell who in an audience was at a Pete Seeger concert for the first time." "You can?" I queried. "Sure," she said. "They are the ones who look annoyed when other audience members start to sing along with Pete."

  • EarSay: Reflections on Habits of Bass Players Music

    Anne Hills' The Things I Notice Now

    By: David Wilson - Sep 29th, 2013

    Earlier this spring I spent a few hours with Tom Paxton hashing over old memories, talking a bit about how singer-songwriters changed the face of what we once called folk music.

  • A Fall Preview - A Lot to Take In. Music

    Notable Folk Scheduled Across Mass

    By: David Wilson - Sep 22nd, 2013

    Back from life in a Nova Scotian tent, I proffer upcoming events of uncommon interest to myself and hopefully to many of you scheduled this fall in a number of MA venues.

  • EarSay: A Plea for Diction, Plus Music

    CDs by Darlingside, Alistair Olgivy, Joe Johnson

    By: David Wilson - Jul 14th, 2013

    When I write anything, be it an email or an installment in this series, my primary purpose is, as I presume is that of most writers, to clearly as possible express my ideas for you to consider. I would suppose that a songwriter has the same purpose, expressing clearly their ideas within the reinforcing framework of melody, rhythm and instrumental accompaniment.

  • Has Anybody But Me Even Noticed - A Rant! Music

    Ear Say- CDs by Deanna Bogart and The Mannish Boys

    By: David Wilson - Jun 30th, 2013

    Here I unburden my soul regarding some of the shortcomings I perceive in the cultural memory of contemporary artists, or maybe I am just making mountains out of molehills. After that, I share my pleasure in my cd discovery of Deanna Bogart and The Mannish Boys.

  • Some Thoughts on Evolving Media Music

    CDs by The Deadly Gentlemen, Ian Tyson, Eric Bibb and Hayley Reardon

    By: David Wilson - Jun 16th, 2013

    Each month of late as my contact with recording artists expands, I am more and more often asked if I prefer a cd or a download. I generally prefer the experience of a physical cd in my hand. There is something more organic about finding the package in the mailbox, reading the return address and trying to guess what is inside and what pleasure the contents might bring. I like, while listening, having access to track listings and descriptions, personnel and even lyrics when they are included. On top of that, I find a cd is always easier to manipulate and access when driving, no doubt the result of years of practice.

  • Chris Smither at Eagle Hill Cultural Center Music

    Plus new CDs by, Jack (Jackie Washington) Landrón & Spider John Koerner

    By: David Wilson - Jun 02nd, 2013

    So here is my take on the final performance of the 2012-13 Eagle Hill Cultural Center season and two exceptional recent recordings.

  • EarSay: Catching up on the CD Backlog Music

    Old Town School of Folk, Kirsty McGee, Karine Polwart and Maeve Gilchrist

    By: David Wilson - May 27th, 2013

    These cds have become embarrassments sitting on my “To be reviewed” shelf and staring at me with accusatory intensity. So, I made a pledge to devote myself over the next month or so of clearing up the backlog and every other installment will be dedicated to bring these gems, (and make no mistake these are gems not castaways) to your attention.

  • EarSay: Iris Dement and Nora Jane Struthers Music

    Iris Live at Bull Run and Nora Jane's New CD

    By: David Wilson - May 19th, 2013

    Although I did not know it was she or even know of her, I first heard the voice of Iris Dement while watching the final episode of Northern Exposure on July 26th, 1995.It was several years before I heard that voice again. In a live performance at Bull Run in Shirley I noted that while her vocal instrument has neither great range nor exceptional clarity, it does, however, embody a tapestry of tones that are conduits for a greater variety of passions and emotions than any other voice I know.

  • Ear Say: John Fullbright and Ewan McLennan Music

    Amazing Things Are Happening in Our World.

    By: David Wilson - Apr 28th, 2013

    The two artists whose recordings I comment on below are interesting in their comparisons and their contrasts. Both cds garnered considerable praise and attention in 2012. Oklahoma’s John Fullbright and his release were nominated for a Grammy, and Ewan McLennan’s was one of those selected in the UK’s best of the year lists.

  • EarSay-Emma Jane & Christopher Crosby Morris Music

    Another Best of 2012 and an Echoing Refrain from Decades Past.

    By: David Wilson - Mar 17th, 2013

    In this posting the pairing may seem unlikely at first. One artist is male, a senior citizen, an experienced artist with a well developed aesthetic while the other is female with the 21st century making up the majority of her life, little experience in comparison yet an aesthetic that while still evolving is already firmly anchored in the soul of a visionary artist.

  • Green Valley Recreation Concert Series Music

    Providing Arts To The Arizona Community

    By: David Wilson - Feb 20th, 2013

    In the last three years in which I have returned to reviewing performances I have seen a number of different nonprofit venues each different from any other. But this month, I confess, I came upon one whose origin I find stranger than most. It all started when I was working on my recent review of the latest Good Lovelies CD .

  • Ear Say: More CDs Music

    The Haunted Windchimes and Bellowhead

    By: David Wilson - Feb 04th, 2013

    Two wild extremes each in their own way quite satisfying CDs comprise the pair we report on today. One hails from the mountains of Colorado and the other from the British Isles.

  • Two More Best CD's of 2012 Music

    Seinn and Kin Deserve Your Notice

    By: David Wilson - Jan 20th, 2013

    Once again we examine choices for best roots or traditional genre recorded and /or released in 2012. These two, certainly stretch the boundaries of the category and in quite diverse directions thematically and geographically. And let's hear it for and from Rosanne Cash. Take a listen.

  • Ear Say for 2012's CDs Music

    A Nod to

    By: David Wilson - Jan 13th, 2013

    Now anyone who can claim to have listened critically to all of the output in a 12 month period is clearly blowing hot air because if they did they would have no time for sleeping, reading or for other pursuits to which the younger and nimbler are prone.

  • The Good Lovelies CD Music

    Live At The Revolution

    By: David Wilson - Jan 05th, 2013

    Live At Revolution is the best CD that The Good Lovelies have yet produced. It satisfies completely. If it does not win industry notice, nominations and awards I will be amazed.

  • Christmas Blues CDs Music

    Delta, Piedmont and Urban Derivatives.

    By: David Wilson - Dec 17th, 2012

    Here are a few suggestions for holiday gifting to the discerning blues lover in your life, or for your own wish list.

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