Wooden Wand: Clipper Ship (Three Lobed) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Wooden Wand

Clipper Ship

Three Lobed

May 16, 2017 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

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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Average reader rating: 8/10


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Tom Martin
May 31st 2018

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