Wooden Wand // In Short

wooden wand

Do you have a fondness for outlaws on the run? Epic landscapes and endless travels? Agitated insomniacs and ditch-digging memory-evaders lurking behind every turn? If so, I’ve got just the man for you.

Wooden Wand – aka James Jackson Toth – is the plaintive American guitarist and singer you were itching to meet. Not that he’s been particularly shy. You just haven’t been paying attention. The slew of cassettes, CDRs, odd-shaped vinyl and CDs he has released over the past decade would fill your front room – and still the soft-sung and plenty-hung rocker is inexplicably slept on.

Hailing from New York state, his most recent album Farmer’s Corner is a seductive mix of freaky folk rambles and smart as fuck pop tunes disguised as windswept country ballads. 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, Kentucky, 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 the ‘Briarwood Virgins’.

Just listen to collaborator Michael Gira of Swans and Young God Records, who aptly described Toth as having: “that picaresque quality that Dylan had in his heyday, wherein the shambolic narrator undergoes various travails and epiphanies—harrowing, bleak and darkly comical—in the course of a narrative, then leaves you mystified, both smiling and sad.”

But hey, perhaps we’ll just let the guy speak for himself:

If I had to describe my music in 3 words, I’d use…
Celestial American Music

My favourite film ever is…
2001: A Space Odyssey when stoned, The Godfather 1&2 otherwise

The most famous person I’ve met is…
Uhhhh….who cares??

The song I hate the most is…
I’d just as soon not give the band a Google-able search result. But maybe that “Time Of Your Life” song by Green Day. God, FUCK that song.

The worst job I’ve ever had is…
…like a ten-way tie for first. But working at an auto parts store is the first one that leaps to mind.

If I was in a tribute band it would be…
Opal

My favourite word is…
“dreamt”

If I had a super power I’d want it to be…
The ability to locate lost things

If I could play a gig anywhere it would be…
Anywhere I’ve never been yet. We can begin with Hawaii, Alaska, and New Zealand

I think you should listen to…
Peter Hammill

If I could see anyone play live it would be…
The Dead anytime between 1972 and 1977

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Wooden Wand plays the first of two nights of the AIM Labelled With Love showcases on September 11 and 12 at The Lexington as part of Fire Record’s 30th anniversary. Support from The Saints and Sterling Roswell (Spaceman 3).