Wooden Wand

Clipper Ship

Three Lobed

May 16, 2017 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Find It At: AMAZON

Every outing with Wooden Wandstage name for James Jackson Tothis an adventure. His music ranges all over the place, centering around a mix of folk, country, and rock, but not without the occasional detour through psychedelia or free jazz.

With that in mind, it's almost a disappointment to find Clipper Ship cleaving closely to the standard folk template. Toth brings the anguished vocals of a man revealing inner secrets to lyrics that are happy to namecheck folk staples. Wildlife, nature, and nautical mentions all get a look in.

Musically there's little to get excited about, and little to draw complaint either. Toth's a dab hand with the acoustic guitar; a crisp, clean playing style underscoring his song writing. He builds competently on top of this without overburdening otherwise fragile tracks.

There are a couple of haunting stand-outs, opener "School's Out" especially, but it's rather undone by an inadvertent descent into parody. The title track opens with a couplet that couldn't be any more folk if it tried. After he finishes singing "Clipper Ship/Like a falcon steady strong and swift" it's clear Toth has fallen down the folk rabbit hole.

Thankfully "Clipper Ship" comes close to the end. Otherwise a decent low-key record might have come completely unstuck. (www.facebook.com/woodenwand)

Author rating: 5.5/10

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