“Headlights hitting us like two suns, as we crawled out of the water caught in the middle of our love/Laughing, running through the night, your hand caught mine, and we almost floated up above that endless countryside” croons singer/songwriter/pianist James Wilson, on “Windows Fogged up in Your Pickup Truck.” The song is on the debut EP for Brooklyn-based alt-country band, The Paisley Fields.
With lyrics like these, it is easy to see why James is a two time ASCAP songwriters’ award winner. The Paisley Fields award-winning sound is rounded out with mezzo soprano Jessica Kimple. Jessica has performed in operas throughout the world including the famed Metropolitan Opera House. The band’s drummer, Rob Knopper, is a percussionist with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. He recently received a GRAMMY for Best Opera Recording for his work with the Met. Rob is also an accomplished ragtime xylophone player. Guitarist and sound engineer Joe Kimple is finishing his degree in music production and engineering at the McNally Smith College of Music. Joe has also done sound engineering for acclaimed hip hop artist P.O.S.
The Paisley Fields plays a mix of country, blues, and rock, drawing inspiration from musicians as varied as Dolly Parton, Tori Amos, Tom Waits, and Leonard Cohen.
“We are at once country, bohemian, and post-modern musicians,” James states. “We are inspired by current artists, but are also deeply inspired by the music we grew up with in the Midwest, as well as musicians from the 50s and 60s.”
Growing up in a one stop light town, James grew to love country music at a young age. His last musical incarnation as post punk musician Frightened Cellar was a much darker, more introspective endeavor. For James, The Paisley Fields represents both a return to his rural roots and a maturing of his sound.
James and Jessica met while studying music in college. They have been collaborating since.
“James and I have been singing together for so long that it just made sense to start a band together, “ Jessica explains. “ It's such a thrill to get to sing and perform with one of my best friends.”
The proof is in the music. Though the band is less than a year old, The Paisley Fields has completed two tours and were named one of the top 10 country bands in New York City.