A star-studded guest list doesn't always guarantee a great party. If, for example, that party included Jackson Browne, the Jayhawks, David Crosby, Graham Nash, Heartbreakers Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench, Father John Misty, Wilco's Pat Sansone... you'd likely wonder whether and where you'd ever actually find the host. And what sort would he be?
This is Jonathan Wilson's party, and, fortunately, you'll find him front and center on Fanfare, his second album. It's an epic love poem to '70s California rock. In lesser hands, guests like Browne, Crosby, and Nash would be included merely to reprise their younger days, or add some gray-haired "authenticity" to the proceedings.
But Fanfare is entirely Wilson's creation. The guest list is a roster of folks who created that sound the first time around, and hear something in Wilson's music that reminds them why they do what they do. Sure, at times the guitar solos go too long and the whole things screams of studio excess. But if Wilson was looking for some authenticity, he could hardly have done better than to build on the excesses of the signature sound in question.