and constant hunger. One rabbit gets taken in by a stranger named Mary who names him King and fattens him up, feeding him enough for two. The story ends by King leaving his home of comfort and rejoining his brother Duke in wild only to meet his untimely demise in the jaws of a big black dog due to his inability to escape as a result of his time in the laps of luxury.
A song about gluttony, “Brother Rabbit” got Jamerson thinking about the seven deadly sins – pride, lust, wrath, envy, sloth, greed and gluttony – loosely basing songs based on those themes and how they fit into in his own life. Additionally, Jamerson tied in songs based on the seven virtues – diligence, justice, courage, charity, kindness, prudence and fortitude – to make up the album’s 14 new tracks.
Fans of Jamerson will recognize a few of the tracks on the album including the aforementioned “Brother Rabbit” along with “Linda James” (kindness), a member of Jamerson’s small community in Eastern Kentucky he held dear that recently passed away; and “Feather Bed” (greed), a story about a husband and wife struggling to get by after the nearby coal mine closes up that decide to start selling dime bags of weed to everyone they know and stuffing the money they earn into an old feather bed.
The high-strung “Getting Better” documents Will’s battle to keep his benevolence in spite of the Wild Frontier’s love affair with money and greed (“I used to put my pennies in a band aid box / two dollar bills in the sock drawer / I was spending all my money like it was funny / I wanted to laugh a little more”) before later coming to a crossroads on “Gambler,” a chapter where his courage is tested as he looks back on his past and forward at dreams of a satisfying future, wondering if he made the right decision in embarking on his journey.
After questioning himself on “Gambler,” Will has a near death experience on “We Are” after being caught in a terrible thunderstorm. With his life flashing before his eyes a green flame appears, bringing an epiphany upon Will and with it the peace of mind he long desired.
With his mind at ease and the storm passed, Mother Nature visits Will on “Mother,” a story illustrating the power of Mother Nature and motherhood and the sacrifices, strength and perseverance it takes to grow and raise a child (“Oh Mother / Goddess of the sky / You and my father / Gave me these eyes / You’re a good shepherd / Tending to your flock / You raised well-behaved / You yielded good stock”). The album reaches its harmonious conclusion on title track “The Wild Frontier,” which touches on a memory of an old friend that helped Will through a particularly dark night on the Wild Frontier.
Sprinkled among the album’s 14 new tracks are excerpts and a monologue that help set the stage and curate and experience for the listener, something Jamerson sought out to do for the project.
“I believe the songs themselves are cinematic in nature so I wanted to add these audio elements that put a scene in the listeners head, like a musical movie,” said Jamerson. “I’ve been calling it a ‘cosmic melo-drama.’”
Jamerson’s upcoming tour dates remain up in the air with the current state of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, all previously scheduled March shows have been put on hold as the situation unfolds. Further updates will be made as the situation progresses.