Jason Wilber has made a name for himself as the longtime guitarist of John Prine, having played with the legendary songwriter since 1996. He’s also a formidable artist in his own right, with a new solo album, Reaction Time, due out August 11.
Wilber recorded the album, the follow-up to 2016’s Echoes, with Paul Mahern, a member of the punk band Zero Boys. In advance of the album’s release, he’s shared new tune “Shame on You,” a gently melancholic pop-rocker that makes a lyrical nod to Elvis Presley.
“‘Shame On You’ emerged from a simple chord progression and humming a melody until some words formed around it,” Wilber says. “I guess that means it came from my subconscious mind, and/or wherever else art comes from. It’s not about any specific event in my life, but rather a sketch of the feelings around a basic emotion that we’ve all felt many times. The story that is implied in the song is about two people who did something that at least one of them feels bad about. We know the narrator is feeling remorse, because he’s the one singing. As Paul Kennerley once put it, ‘misery with a beat.'”
Listen to “Shame on You” below.