Just minutes into the album — with a shambolic instrumental rumble and a dour delivery of urgency — James Jackson Toth, aka Wooden Wand, mutters “the thing I have been sick with, I am well, I am still in the thick of it…” beautifully characterizing his dauntless and continually expanding discography in 20 words or less. And here is the thing with Toth – unlike many of his prolific peers, he is not a creature of habit. But how is an artist to keep things fresh – especially one who has released two other striking full lengths within the current farmer’s almanac? In this case, the answer lays in the method.
What sets Farmer’s Corner apart from previous Wooden Wand output is that rather than recording in one continuous session, Toth took himself on the road recording nine new songs in six sessions in four studios in three different states. To his musician arsenal, Toth has added bassist Darin Gray, and guitarists William Tyler and Doc Feldman, who provide a solid wrecking crew foundation for a musical din that is two parts Harvest with a dash of Little Feat for good measure. Stir it up and we’re are gifted an album that beautifully unfolds as we follow our outlaw hero from dusk till dawn as he hashes out his victories and defeats in stories of new beginnings, back road chemical arrangements, and love lost and found all set amongst unpredictable landscapes and circumstances. Farmer’s Corner is a finely crafted album billowing with heart and soul as Toth pushes the flood waters higher in this watershed moment of his career. words / d norsen