It wouldn't be a year around RSTB if there wasn't an appearance (if not multiple) by our patron saint James Toth. This year he's already graced one album, the mellifluous and staid Farmer's Corner, another outing for Fire Records and rife with country ease and sunset hues. Though the record veers into some great tracks, like the mid album burner "Adie" it errs on the glossy side of his catalog. So as a nice balance to the studio set he's got another homespun and scuffed collection out now via Seth Olinsky's (Akron Family) Lightning Records. Its a fitting place for Toth's hammock bound story songs, a set that crackles with the hiss of eight track, swaggering through the last call streets of small towns like the best moments in his catalog. Its not to say that one of these albums outweighs the other in terms of skill or execution, just that I have a bit of a soft spot for the moments on Azog-Toth that feel like a window to the songwriter's study. This album is the root of the Wand, unadorned, unhurried and built on pure charm. Toth's issued collections like this before and he'll do it again for sure. One thing that'll always remain a given with WW is that there will always be more songs than you can absorb in a year so take your time with this collection and with those studio gems from earlier in the year. Its likely worth the wait.
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