“The writing is an intersection of outlaw country’s toughness, Dylan-inspired pith, and Waits-like attentiveness and wit.” Pitchfork
Louisville, Kentucky’s James Jackson Toth aka Wooden Wand is one of the world’s most treasured exponents of the songwriting craft. The modern day equivalent of a Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen or Bob Dylan, he operates in a world where notions of stardom are no longer appropriate to singer-songwriters (reality TV shows create stars these days – incredible lyrics shot right to the heart through plaintive, gnarled songs, sadly, don’t). Toth once said in conversation, ‘I imagine if Bruce Springsteen were starting out today, he’d probably be on a label like Jagjaguwar,’ and he has a point. Only those true enough to stay the course of the rock’n'roll dream have discovered Wooden Wand – labels like Thurston Moore’s Ecstatic Peace and Michael Gyra’s Young God – and it’s to the benefit of the world that they have.
Wooden Wand’s new album Briarwood is out now on Fire Records and it’s one of the best ‘rock’ records of the year so far. Do not miss this outstanding and essential voice as he returns to Manchester for what will be a unique, engaging and powerful performance.
Support comes from Winebox Press head honcho J. Collin (also known as half of Serfs and The Whole Voyald Infinite Light) whose sparse, considered guitar playing as been described by Foxy Digitalis as, “An improvised feel of glass tones and damp lights [moving] in slight, inconstant motions.” Opening the show will be Manchester’s Irma Vep, the solo incarnation of Sex Hands/Klaus Kinski’s Edwin Stevens. Frail, rudimentary, heartbroken ballads reminiscent of early Smog and, at times, Jandek.