Wooden Wand – Farmer’s Corner – CD
Following the critically acclaimed Blood Oaths of the New Blues, songwriter James Jackson Toth returns with a cycle of intimate and raw songs, recorded along his travels. Bringing in like-minded musicians like guitar virtuoso William Tyler and collaborator Darin Gray, Toth wraps his expert wordplay around some of his finest songs to date, including the instant classic “Dambuilding.”
For his new album Farmer’s Corner (due out on Fire Records on April 19 (Europe)/20(US)), Toth a.k.a Wooden Wand decided to try something different: instead of spending a week in a studio with the same people, the same engineer, the same equipment and the same state of mind, he would record in fits and starts, whenever – and WHEREever – he felt like it, recording new songs as he wrote them.
Over six sessions in four studios spanning three states, he began amassing tracks. Toth then chose his favorite ten songs for Farmer’s Corner, which is, remarkably, the very first self-produced Wooden Wand album. Abetted on the majority of the tracks by electric bassist Darin Gray (On Fillmore, Jim O’Rourke, Grand Ulena, Dazzling Killmen), and guitarists William Tyler (Lambchop, Silver Jews, Yo La Tengo) and Doc Feldman. Toth also called on friends in St Louis, Nashville, and his current home in Lexington, KY to produce an album that splits the difference between the protracted psych of his work with the Vanishing Voice and the World War IV and the more lonesome, bucolic styles of his more recent albums with Michael Gira and the Briarwood Virgins.
The result is the most “Wooden Wand” album in the Wooden Wand discography, reflecting Toth’s omnivorous musical and narrative obsessions. the arrangements – think Little Feat covering Harvest Moon – only serve to highlight his capabilities as both a songwriter and storyteller. The collected songs form an easy entry into the ever-growing Toth output, where outlaws on the run, epic landscapes, endless travels, agitated insomniacs and ditch-digging memory-evaders lurk behind every turn.
“this is the sound of one musician’s prolific and mercurial path, reaching delightful new highs.” Pitchfork 7.9