The indie folk-rock band, Wildwood Park, will release its debut CD, “A Beauty in Her Day” at a special event at Walla Walla’s Gesa Powerhouse Theatre on October 30th at 7:30. The show will feature San Francisco producer and virtuoso pedal steel guitarist Bruce Kaphan, as well as other special musical guests.
Hailing from Walla Walla, Washington, Wildwood Park showcases the song-craft of brothers and veteran songwriters Aaron and Jesse Burgess and features the vocals and violin of Anna Okada Burgess, Jesse's 19-year-old daughter. Anna, a classically-trained violinist, singer, and Celtic fiddler, released a solo CD (“Spring in Brassica”) at age 14, and at 15 she performed in the exclusive National High School Honors Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in New York. Drummer Dov Friedman completes the quartet.
Wildwood Park's sound is autumnal and rich. The songs are sad and hopeful, emotionally mature, featuring delicate melodies reminiscent of John Lennon's lyrical songs. Wildwood Park is clearly influenced by folk rock music from the late 60s and early 70s: from Nick Drake to the Beatles, and Neil Young to Bob Marley. Yet the band’s music is fresh and new.
The songs' subject matter ranges from spiritual epiphany, to love lost, to a story of a homeless man's last hours on the cold streets of a sleeping city. Most songs on “A Beauty in Her Day" feature Anna's exquisite and passionate violin work. Her singing is finely textured, intimate, and free of the affectations so often found in singers in the contemporary indie folk-rock scene.
Wildwood Park began working with engineer, producer, and pedal steel guitar virtuoso Bruce Kaphan in 2014. A remarkable multi-instrumentalist, film composer, and seasoned engineer and producer, Mr. Kaphan has greatly contributed to Wildwood Park's CD.
Finally, a delightful and welcome addition to the Wildwood Park’s roster of musicians is the appearance of internationally-acclaimed ukulele sensation Jake Shimabukuro, who plays stunningly on “Petals Floating”, a song about the drowning of a dear friend in the 2011 Japan Tsunami.
Tickets are $20 and available online at www.phtww.com and at the Powerhouse Theatre on 6th and Rose, Walla Walla, Washington, on Thursdays and Fridays from 1:00 to 5:00.