This episode of our Song Spinner series, which takes you into the hearts, minds and hands of local musicians and their creative process, reveals the story of "Waiting on You" by Wilson Kane.
BIO: The hard-working acoustic pop duo was formed in 2007 by Frank Wilson (bass/vocals) and Ben Kane (guitar/harmonica/vocals). From the outset and by design, Wilson Kane, based in Waterford/New London, have approached music as a self-sustaining career. While they compose and perform their own material - as with "Waiting on You" - they eschew the "day job" support system whilst trying to exclusively perform original music.
Instead, they work the time-honored "professional musician" approach of playing cover gigs in bars and restaurants across Connecticut and Rhode Island. Since its inception, Wilson Kane has played more than 600 dates - often two or three on the same day. They have hundreds of songs on their play list, and there's probably not an artist in the history of recorded music you could request at one of their shows and not get satisfaction.
ORIGINAL SOUND: A sort of harmony-spangled, melodic soft rock sound that contains elements of artists ranging from James Taylor and the Eagles to the Rembrandts and Toad the Wet Sprocket.
HOW "WAITING ON YOU" CAME ABOUT: Since Wilson Kane spend so much time together - onstage and riding together to and from gigs - songs are written in a variety of ways. Sometimes Kane has a chord structure and some lyrics and brings it to Wilson. Sometimes Wilson has a riff and brings it to Kane. Sometimes they make something up onstage during a show - just to see what happens.
For "Waiting on You," the lyrics came first. Kane was struck by the simple idea that people are always waiting for, well, something.
He laughs. "It's about … waiting. But there are so many reasons why someone waits," he says.
He might be waiting for Wilson to pick him up for a gig, or for his kids to get ready for school - or something more emotionally substantial.
"If you're in a relationship, you could be waiting for someone to make the right move. And a lot of times you have to grin and bear it and take a deep breath and say, 'This is where I am. This is how things are going to be until that moment arises when things are going to work out or not work out."
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT: However a Wilson Kane song starts, they refine and hone the tune together, trying to streamline and simplify until all the fat's removed. In that context, by this point in their relationship, a lot of melodic and rhythmic ideas are second nature.
"We usually know what the other guy's thinking," Wilson says. "Ben brought this in and I really liked it and the harmony was just instinctual. Just to cover our bases, we'll work a song out and try all arrangements and possibilities, but this was pretty easy to hone - and we know it at once when it gels."
WHERE YOU CAN HEAR "WAITING ON YOU": The duo has about a dozen original songs including "Waiting on You," and are consciously making steps to record and release an album. In the meantime, you can see Wilson Kane this week at the Ancient Mariner in Mystic on Thursday, Mango's in Branford on Friday, the Penny Lane Pub in Old Saybrook on Saturday and Malted Barley in Westerly on Sunday. (See? We told you they work a lot.)
For more information, access wilsonkane.com.