James Jackson Toth is a songwriter’s songwriter; a dedicated fan of the form and a true lover of music. Every turn of phrase important, each line crafted for maximum impact. In practice, all of that hard work makes creating this deep catalog of tunes look like it comes so easily. Fraught ballads about love torn criminals on the run mingle with delicate examinations of the minute details of workingclass life while looking in the rearview mirror on the way to a deadend job. Toth finds the beauty in it all, reflecting a keen eye for observation to pair with his steady strums and poetic nature.
“Recasts songs that could have come from country music or the blues or Bob Dylan in an intricate Americana gloaming.” – Pitchfork
“This is the Wooden Wand record you might spin when you’re looking for reasons to keep on living. His songwriting stance is of shrugging off dread and finding meaning, be it spiritual, natural or chemical. Fading memories, intemperate moments, glimpses of unmade beds and daytime moons–they’re all grist for lyrical flights bent on banishing the blues.” – The Wire