Channing Wilson may not be a household name as of yet but all it takes is one listen to the acclaimed songwriter’s ten song collection Dead Man to realize we have yet another stellar songwriter taking center stage and showcasing the diverse musical genre that country music is as these ten songs run the gamut from traditional country storytellers to rousing rockers to soulful blues to everything in between. All of it featuring passionate baritone vocals from Wilson himself.
“Dead Man Walking” is as bluesy a country song you’re likely to hear in 2023 but the production (recorded at Dave Cobb’s new studio in Savannah, Georgia) features a tight house band of Wilson, Producer Dave Cobb, Brian Allen (bass), Philip Chandler (piano & organ), Chris Powell (drums, percussion), Leroy Powell (electric guitar, pedal steel, harmonica), and Mike Webb (piano, organ) as well as harmony vocals from Kristen Rogers. “Drink That Strong” Opens the record with a solid dose of Outlaw country while “Beer For Breakfast” and “Crazy Over You” are both songs with heavy nods to icon Willie Nelson. They just feel like songs he would’ve written or recorded. And that’s no slight on Channing Wilson as it’s actually high praise for him because few artists could ever rise to Willie Nelson’s stratosphere but Channing does.
The ten songs featured on Dead Man are some of the best I’ve heard so far this year and that leaves Dead Man as an early contender for one of 2023’s best recordings. Here’s hoping the entire world hears these songs and makes the talented singer/songwriter a star.