What can you add to the legacy of one of the greatest harmonica players of all time? Perhaps a second legacy of developing a generation of great unknown guitarists within the confines of his bands.
Fortunately for the readers of this magazine, Wilson always has great young guitar talents, that are for the most part not yet nationally recognized.
Apparently, Wilson molds his aggregations in much the same fashion that Little Walter and Robert Jr. Lockwood did with their many reformations of the Headhunters and the Aces. A simple formula; find the best talent available and yield to the dominant styling of the leader. In this case, that’s Kim Wilson.
In Troy Gonyea, who has obviously been equally influenced by Pat Hare as well as Bill Jennings, Wilson has one more perfect foil. A tremendous talent in the making, Gonyea’s penchant for tone is noteworthy. With the style of music Wilson’s band plays, and the parameters that exist within it, you can open the envelope, but have to respect the tradition and know where the line is drawn.
As a torchbearer, Gonyea is not yet of Duke’s caliber, but if this recording is any indication, it won’t be long.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s Aug. ’03 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.