Singer-songwriter Jamie Lin Wilson captures moments. She snaps photographs with songs. On her new song, the swift and nimble “Oklahoma Stars,” she bottles up the brevity of a moment worth remembering. It’s the latest in a string of releases from her new album, Jumping Over Rocks, due out Oct. 26.
All too often, we become consumed by the possible repercussions of tomorrow. With “Oklahoma Stars,” a co-write with longtime collaborator Evan Felker of Turnpike Troubadours, Wilson embraces the briefness of casual encounters, flashing friendships and living in the moment.
Wilson says she was walking around late one night during the Medicine Stone Music Festival when she was initially was inspired to write “Oklahoma Stars.”
“I was noticing that people were moving around like ants,” Wilson tells Wide Open Country. “It could have been noon or something. It couldn’t have been 4 a.m. But everybody’s meeting each other and making friends and having a great time. Sometimes when people meet and just get to hang out for a brief period of time, there’s that spark of friendship that may have not happened otherwise.”
As if by fate, Wilson recalls that a meteor shower was happening at the same moment—perhaps a wink from the universe.
“We laid down and watched them,” recalls Wilson. “I kind of started putting all that stuff together then. There’s all these budding friendships and relationships are starting. Then there’s this meteor shower happening. It’s really all the same. You burn so bright and then you disappear. There’s some freedom in that. You can be silly and fun. You can let loose knowing you’re not going to have to see this person tomorrow at the bank.”
Wilson showers “Oklahoma Stars” with rich lines like “we looked up at the heaven and we saw the worlds collide” and “the moonlight has a way of throwing shadows on the night” throughout. They may as well be Polaroid shots. Like a Polaroid, there’s a bit of haze to them that evokes a candid and bubbly drunkenness. It lives in a world without smartphones and social media. There’s a beauty in the anonymity.
“It would take a fool to say it, like a photograph of grace. But fools need supervision or a gift for saving face,” Wilson sings towards the end. Lines like that are few and far between. They occupy your mind even when the next song has started.
“Evan’s so good at taking songs and making them mean just a little bit more than they did before,” Wilson says of Felker. It marks as the pair’s third co-write joining previous songs “Call a Spade a Spade,” a duet between Turnpike Troubadours and Wilson, and “Little Sweet Cigars,” a song recorded by The Trishas, the off-and-on Americana supergroup featuring Wilson.
Wilson soars on the bright “Oklahoma Stars” chorus. Felker and Courtney Patton join in on harmonies adding a radiant glow that dances in the brisk and cool fading twilight and foreseen dawn.
Wilson, the former lead vocalist for The Gougers, recorded her follow-up to Holidays & Wedding Rings at Austin’s Arlyn Studios for four days with producer Scott Davis. Joining Wilson and Davis were an all-star cast of fine musicians including Charlie Sexton, Richard Millsap, Trevor Nealon and Cody Angel.
Much like on previous singles “The Being Gone” and “Run,” there’s a sharp crispness to “Oklahoma Stars.” Rather than piecing together tracks, Wilson and company recorded each song live—them in one room and her in another looking at one another through a sheet of glass. There’s a heightened tension formed as they capture Wilson’s elegant and graceful songs about home life and everyday interactions.
Much like Lori McKenna or Guy Clark—someone her and fellow Texas music troubadour Jack Ingram cover on Jumping Over Rocks—Wilson pulls meaning out of common occurrences. She finds value in what others may have discarded. She provides a context and nuance with each line or phrase.
Wilson’s Jumping Over Rocks is due out Oct. 26. You can pre-order the full-length solo album here. Wilson will be on tour for much of the Fall in support of Jumping Over Rocks. For more information on dates, click here.
Jamie Lin Wilson Tour Dates
Sept. 21 — Tahlequah, Okla. — Medicine Stone Music Festival
Sept. 23 — Round Rock, Texas — Reckless Kelly’s Celebrity Softball Jam
Sept. 28 — Bahama Beach, Fla. — Suncoast Songwriter Weekend
Oct. 4 — San Antonio, Texas — Sam’s Burger Joint
Oct. 7 — New Braunfels, Texas — Gruene Hall
Oct. 11 — Livingston, Mont. — The Attic At Whiskey Creek Saloon
Oct. 12 — Bozeman, Mont. — Live From The Divide
Oct. 13 — Stanley, Idaho — Mountain Village Resort
Oct. 14 — Garden City, Idaho — Ranch Club
Oct. 18 — Houston, Texas — McGonigel’s Mucky Duck
Oct. 19 — Fort Worth, Texas — Fort Worth Live
Oct. 20 — Austin, Texas — Sam’s Town Point
Oct. 25 — Oklahoma City, Okla. — The Blue Door
Oct 26 — Durant, Okla. — Bubbas Brewhouse
Oct. 27 — Tulsa, Okla. — Mercury Lounge
Oct. 28 — Aledo, Texas — Remedy Room
Nov. 3 — Dallas, Texas — Poor David’s Pub
Nov. 10 — Austin, Texas — Paramount Theatre