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Page Wilson

Bridge of Love – 1999 (Planetary)

Reviewed by Andy Turner

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CDs by Page Wilson

Richmond, Va.'s Page Wilson has been a fixture of that city's music scene since the mid-'70's. His appreciation of Richmond and the Old Dominion are easy to spot. There's "Richmond Blues," there's the cover art for the album, done by his daughter Virginia Blue and then there's "Virginia," a ditty that Wilson entered in the commonwealth's contest to replace the old state song, the classic but racist "Carry Me Back to Old Virginia."

But Wilson, who penned nearly all of the songs, doesn't just appreciate his city and state: he's a sucker for life in general. His voice and stories sound hard-earned, with rough edges that understand trouble, but nevertheless find hope through it all.

Recorded live at Richmond's In Your Ear Studios, the album is low-key and easy going, focusing on what Wilson and Reckless Abandon call "purebred American mongrel music." That translates mainly to country, bluegrass and blues. Whatever you want to call it, it's a terrific album that celebrates the thing called life and that includes the pleasures of swimming "nekkid," chicken thighs and two tractor bands. (Planetary, 2614 W. Cary St., Richmond, VA 23220, E-Mail: info@planetaryrecords.com)