James Calvin Wilsey

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James Calvin Wilsey
Born(1957-07-12)July 12, 1957[1]
Logansport, Indiana, U.S.
DiedDecember 24, 2018(2018-12-24) (aged 61)
GenresPunk rock, pop music
Years active1977–2018
LabelsLakeshore Records
Associated acts

James Calvin Wilsey (July 12, 1957 – December 24, 2018) was an American musician. He played bass with San Francisco punk band the Avengers, but became better known as the lead guitarist for Stockton crooner Chris Isaak's band Silvertone. His playing was featured on Isaak's albums Silvertone, Chris Isaak, Heart Shaped World, and San Francisco Days.

Musical style[edit]

Wilsey's 1965 Fender Stratocaster and use of reverb, delay and gentle vibrato gave a distinctive sound to Isaak hits such as "Wicked Game" (the opening two-note riff, in his own words, "crystallizes Wilsey's approach") and "Blue Hotel".[2]

Dropping the moniker "Calvin", Wilsey released a solo album of guitar instrumentals in 2008, titled El Dorado, which paid homage to musical influences such as Duane Eddy, the Shadows, Billy Strange, James Burton and Link Wray.[3]

Selected discography[edit]


  • El Dorado (2008)

With the Avengers[edit]

With Chris Isaak[edit]


  1. ^ "Happy Birthday, Jimmy Wilsey!". Telecaster Guitar Forum. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
  2. ^ Elliott, Steve (10 January 2015). "James Wilsey, Former Chris Isaak Guitarist". Something Else!.
  3. ^ "James Wilsey Finds El Dorado". Punk Turns 30. 26 February 2008.

External links[edit]