James Calvin Wilsey

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James Calvin Wilsey
Born 1957 (age 60–61)
Logansport, Indiana, U.S.
Genres Punk rock, pop music
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Guitar
Years active 1977–present
Labels Lakeshore Records
Associated acts

James Calvin Wilsey (born 1957) is 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".[1]

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[2]

Selected discography[edit]


  • El Dorado (2008)

With the Avengers[edit]

With Chris Isaak[edit]


  1. ^ Elliott, Steve (10 January 2015). "James Wilsey, Former Chris Isaak Guitarist". Something Else!. 
  2. ^ "James Wilsey Finds El Dorado". Punk Turns 30. 26 February 2008. 

External links[edit]