Wooden Wand: Blood Oath of the New Blues (Fire/Southbound)

 |   |  <1 min read

Wooden Wand: Southern Colorado Song
Wooden Wand: Blood Oath of the New Blues (Fire/Southbound)

In the real world “a songwriter's songwriter” usually translates into “respected, but no commercial potential”.

Wooden Wand – aka James Jackson Toth – has been been described as having “that picaresque quality Dylan had in his heyday” by Swans' Michael Gira, and some have cited Neil Young, Springsteen and Cohen in reviews.

Hard to make those references on this album, but he's certainly in a lineage of emotionally probing alt.country writers – Townes Van Zandt in places -- although many might not get there after the opener No Bed for Beatle Wand/Days This Long which runs close to 12 minutes of downbeat rumination.

It's actually very good, but someone who wasn't “a songwriter's songwriter” might have put at the end and kicked off with the more manageable country melancholy and pop-length of Supermoon.

There are few “up” moments here but the weary languor makes for a coherent mood piece, sort of Sunday monring come down music.

Wand/Toth – who has label hopped, perhaps because no one quite knows what do with him – is a distinctive writer with a compelling delivery and a sure, understated melodic touch.

The brooding, poetic track (and title) Outsider Blues sums this up.

Worth investigating.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Ute Lemper: The Best of Ute Lemper (Decca)

Ute Lemper: The Best of Ute Lemper (Decca)

With this great entertainer returning to New Zealand after her thrilling cabaret-noir/showtunes performance in 2003 it seems not only timely to reprint the lengthy, career encompassing interview... > Read more

Solomon Burke: Nothing's Impossible (Shock)

Solomon Burke: Nothing's Impossible (Shock)

The extraordinary Solomon Burke has enjoyed that rarity in popular music, not just a second coming but a sustained one. Music history is full of acts who come back after their first seminal... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Ben Harper, Charlie Musselwhite: Get Up! (Stax)

Ben Harper, Charlie Musselwhite: Get Up! (Stax)

To be honest, the first couple of times I saw Ben Harper I walked out being bored witless by a man I jokingly came to refer to as "Taj Marley" because he simply seemed to weld together... > Read more

George Harrison: Dream Scene (1968)

George Harrison: Dream Scene (1968)

This appropriately entitled piece is serious headphone listening for the wee small hours and is perhaps among the most strange things George Harrison's name was ever attached to. It appeared on... > Read more