Stiltskin frontman and former Genesis vocalist Ray Wilson is set to release a new album entitled Song For a Friend.
It is dedicated to his close friend James Lewis who tragically committed suicide in 2015. Inspiration also came to Ray from other significant events in the lives of those surrounding him. He utilises music and song as an emotional vehicle, sharing his feelings for the people who have touched his life.
The songs are a collection of musical short stories and he poetically describes his mission in writing them: “The meaning of life is the journey: this album encapsulates the journey. This album was written to inspire. When you feel like giving in, when you feel you are losing the will to keep pushing or fighting. This was written to help you dig deep, and fight for joy and peace in your life”.
Ray makes the most of his intimate storytelling style, as he bares his soul with tales of loss and friendship and fables for the human condition.
Here is a visually gorgeous video for the track Not Long Until Springtime. Ray allows the song and the dancers to tell this story. Only his voice can be heard, he remains elusive.
Ray Wilson is a fine rock singer able to convey emotion in his delivery. His vocal talent led Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford to appoint him Genesis vocalist in the 90s, following the departure of Phil Collins. The young Wilson’s vocal personality bled through in his interpretations of Genesis’ material. During his subsequent solo career and running alongside his role in Stiltskin Ray experimented with the acoustic form, playing solo versions of Follow You Follow Me and In The Air Tonight. These were topped by his wonderful arrangement of Entangled, performed during his 2009 Genesis Classic tour.
Moving on from mere interpretations and the complexity of Prog Rock Song for a Friend appears to be a departure for Ray Wilson. In collaboration with Stiltskin guitarist Uwe Metzler he has carved his own path to create a collection of melodic acoustic songs that aim to encourage listeners through life’s journey.
I anticipate the peaking of a vocalist, songwriter and musician entirely in his own right with the release of this, his fifth solo studio album.
Album release date 3rd June 2016. Formats will be CD with booklet and black vinyl LP.
Feature written by Shirley Ann Williams.