CHRIS WILSON’s Classic First Solo Album ‘Landlocked’ – Now ‘Landlocked, Faithless & Free’ – Expanded To 2LP/2CD And Released On Vinyl

Chris Wilson’s classic first solo album Landlocked – now Landlocked, Faithless & Free – expanded to 2LP/2CD and released on vinyl for first time to celebrate 30th Anniversary

Cheersquad Records & Tapes are stoked to present the release TODAY of Chris Wilson’s Landlocked, Faithless & Free, a very special 30th Anniversary Reissue that sees Chris Wilson’s original 1992 album Landlocked released on vinyl for the first time and expanded to a double LP/double CD with the inclusion of tracks from the associated CD EPs The Big One and Alimony Blues.

Landlocked was Chris Wilson’s first solo album and it saw Wilson nominated for two ARIA Awards – for Best Male Artist and Breakthrough Artist, Album – and acclaimed by Rolling Stone as a “major talent”.  It followed his releases with the Crown of Thorns and Pub Dogs (see Cheersquad’s 2022 reissue of the Pub Dogs’Scatter’s Liver) and preceded the classic live album Live At The Continental (which belatedly made the ARIA Top 20 album charts when reissued by Cheersquad in 2020).

Landlocked was co-produced by Wilson, engineer Doug Roberts and guitarist Shane O’Mara, who is also known for his work with Paul Kelly amongst many others, including new Cheersquad signing, The Silversound. The rhythm section comprised Chris’ faithful sideman Chris ‘Dodgy’ Rogers on bass and erstwhile Paul Kelly drummer Peter Luscombe. Jen Anderson (Black Sorrows, Weddings Parties Anything) guested on violin, Evil Graham Lee (Triffids) on pedal steel and Rebecca Barnard (Rebecca’s Empire etc) on vocals.

The magnificent vinyl double album contains sixteen tracks – the original CD release’s twelve tracks, plus fine covers of The Saints’ “Ghost Ships”, Albert King’s “Born Under a Bad Sign” (Max Crawdaddy still opens his blues show on 3RRR with it every week) and two stunning live medleys – Sly & The Family Stone’s “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” with Junior Walker’s “Shotgun”, and Kansas Joe & Memphis Minnie’s  “When The Levee Breaks” with John Lee Hooker’s “Burning Hell”. The double LP comes on black (disc one) and opaque yellow (disc two) vinyl. 

The double CD adds the four extra tracks: a live recording of “Wreckage”, and studio recordings of Gershwin’s “Summertime”, Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine” and the jazz standard “Bye Bye Blackbird”, a song Chris’ mum Bet requested he record.

Chris Wilson, who passed away on January 16 2019, was inducted into the Music Victoria Hall of Fame by Paul Kelly in December 2020. Wilson had been an enormous presence over decades on Melbourne’s vibrant live scene. He worked as a solo artist and alongside a host of artists including Diesel, X, Hunters & Collectors, Vika and Linda, Crowded House and Paul Kelly & The Messengers. He started out in R&B pub band the Sole Twisters and came to prominence in the mid-‘80s as a member of Melbourne post-punk blues band Harem Scarem. His distinctive harp playing can be heard on the classic Paul Kelly albums Gossip and Under The Sun – on the track “Dumb Things” in particular – and he toured the US with Kelly as a fully fledged Messenger in 1987.  He formed his own band Crown of Thorns the same year.

Chris’ musical legacy is now in the care of country-singing wife Sarah Carroll – of Git fame and more – and sons Fenn Wilson and George Carroll Wilson, both of whom are now establishing themselves as strong artists in their own right (George under the name Pollyman and as a member of the up-and-coming Bones & Jones).

Chris Wilson’s Landlocked, Faithless & Free is out on today, just in time for Christmas. Order your copy from:


 1. The Big One
2. Alimony Blues
3. Big Mouth Baby
4. Wolves

 1. Rose Tattoo
2. Hard Land
3. Wreckage
4. World Keeps Moving Sideways

1. Tits and Feathers
2. Mask (instrumental)
3. My Little Pony
4. Landlocked
5. When the Levee Breaks / Burning Hell (Trad, arr Shane O’Mara, John Lee Hooker) (Live)

1. Ghost Ships (Chris Bailey)
2. Born Under a Bad Sign (Booker T Jones, William Bell) (Live)
3. Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) / Shotgun (Sylvester Stewart, Autry DeWalt Mixon) (Live)


1. The Big One
2. Alimony Blues
3. Big Mouth Baby
4. Wolves
5. Rose Tattoo
6. Hard Land
7. Wreckage
8. World Keeps Moving Sideways
9. Tits and Feathers 
10. Mask (Instrumental)
11. My Little Pony
12. Landlocked

1. When the Levee Breaks / Burning Hell (Trad, arr Shane O’Mara, John Lee Hooker) (Live)
2. Wreckage (Live)
3. Born Under a Bad Sign (Booker T Jones,William Bell) (Live)
4. Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) / Shotgun (Sylvester Stewart, Autry DeWalt Mixon ) (Live)
5. Summertime (DuBose Heyward, George Gershwin)
6. Bye Bye Blackbird (Mort Dixon, Ray Henderson)
7. Ghost Ships (Chris Bailey)
8. Ain’t No Sunshine (Bill Withers)

Chris Wilson was a giant of Australian blues and roots music. A big man with a big voice and an even bigger heart, he followed in the footsteps of early pioneers like Dutch Tilders, Matt Taylor and Broderick Smith (and led the way for the likes of Jeff Lang, Ash Grunwald and the Teskey Brothers) and took his feeling for blues into the rock and punk worlds, eventually becoming the heart and soul of Melbourne’s legendary thriving live scene. 

Wilson began his career with the pub R&B/soul rocking Sole Twisters before joining heavy hitting post-punk blues enthusiasts Harem Scarem in time for their revered Pilgrim’s Progress album  – taking centre stage with his harp on their burning version of Iggy & The Stooges’ “Open Up & Bleed” amongst other great tracks –  in 1986. He was known initially as an instrumentalist; he was often seen with a sax hanging off his neck but it was his harp playing that quickly drew attention. In the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, he was adding harp to the work of friends Hunters & Collectors (he played on 1987’s What’s a Few Men), Crowded House on their album Woodface, punk-rock legends X, and most famously, Paul Kelly & The Coloured Girls (and most famously there on “Dumb Things”), with whom he undertook a 45-date North American tour. 

Chris Wilson – The Big One (Official video)

Soon enough Chris found his voice upfront of his own group, Crown of Thorns. And what a voice it was; a rich, elastic baritone that fearlessly traversed areas that few since Tim Buckley had ventured through.  At the same time Wilson also made his mark as a songwriter, and seemingly overnight he became the complete package.

Local success for records by Crown of Thorns and another project, The Pubdogs, featuring “Evil” Graham Lee of Triffids/Coloured Girls fame – all released on a label run by 3RRR’s revered blues DJ Max Crawdaddy – led to a deal with Mushroom’s Aurora label, home also to Archie Roach. Debut solo album Landlocked followed and in 1993 he was nominated for best male artist and breakthrough artist at the ARIAs. That in turn was followed by Live at the Continental, which soon became his fans’ favourite, and which had a deep resonance with many.

In 1996, Mushroom paired him up with Diesel as Wilson Diesel for the hugely successful Short Cool Ones – a top 20 smash. The sprawling double CD The Long Weekend followed in 1998 and showed the huge potential of his appeal to an audience of pub-going rock fans who grew up on the Dingoes and Cold Chisel and the like. Along the way Chris opened for both Bob Dylan (who sought him out backstage to shake his hand) and Elvis Costello and earned himself a clutch more ARIA nominations.

Chris soon turned away from the spotlight, preferring to play local and hang with his young and also musical family; wife Sarah Carroll was a member of much-loved country trio Git amongst other projects. They moved down to the Bellarine Peninsula, and Chris continued life and work as a harmonica teacher, running programs for boys at local schools and phoning in music book reviews to 3RRR-FM’s influential Off The Record program.  And the music still flowed. New albums, new projects, and he was by now a scene elder – he had new artists who could use his helping hand.  Late in his life, as sons Fenn Wilson and George Carroll Wilson (aka Pollyman) started making names for themselves on the scene, he recorded a final album featuring his new-found drumming skills and teamed up again with old mate Steve Lucas from X in the roaring pub blues rock band the Heinous Hounds, which featured one time Keith Richards & The X-Pensive Winos member Jerome Smith and another old pal, drummer Ash Davies.

In July 2018, Chris announced that he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and was unlikely to perform again. His final album was released, eponymously titled. A fundraising concert at the Corner Hotel was organised and quickly sold out. Chris passed away on January 16 2019 to an outpouring of grief as great as any that Melbourne had experienced in a long time.

On October 8 2020, it was announced that Chris would be posthumously inducted into the Music Victoria Hall of Fame. Wilson’s family accepted his induction with Sarah Carroll, Fenn Wilson and George Carroll Wilson performing a version of Chris’s powerful ‘Hand Becomes Fist’. Paul Kelly inducted Chris on Wednesday, December 9 at Melbourne Recital Centre.

Chris Wilson’s Landlocked, Faithless & Free is out now and available all good retailers and:

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