Wooden Wand - Blood Oaths of the New Blues
James Jackson Toth's work ethic is somewhat of a mystery, having released a prolific number of records in various DIY formats since the early 00s - though it's only now that his music is beginning to seep through to a wider audience courtesy of Fire Records. Blood Oaths of the New Blues, the latest release from his full band guise Wooden Wand is a gentle, hypnotic record. Marketed as a wake-and-bake follow up to his previous record’s 'revelry', Toth offers up 41 minutes of moist-eyed stoner folk of the most chronic degree.
Sprawling opener ‘No Bed for Beatle Wand/Days this Long’ wallows in blissful vegetation; Toth’s slurred croon is delivered with such complacence that it becomes easy to dismiss the lyrical detail. Highlight ‘Outsider Blues’ is an outstanding demonstration of Toth’s strengths as a wordsmith, finely detailing the journey of two young, pilled-up lovers on a road trip to a blues festival in Toronto, his narration turning their innocuous argument over what album to play into a beautifully romantic, seven minute folk epic. Blood Oaths...' pacing shares more in lineage with
progressive rock than that of contemporary folk, requiring time to soak and attention to mould but this is a distinctly human record. One definitely for the gut.