"James Jackson Toth AKA Wooden Wand is your fearless friend, the stumbling guy that goes out and gets himself into some incredibly fucked-up situations but comes out shining and lives to tell you all about it, entertaining you safely and immensely. You should be grateful. His songs are beautiful, indisputably, both musically and lyrically, and they'll give you joy if you listen to them. In my view, he's a great American songwriter in full bloom.
"...James is a natural. To me it's obvious he's animated with the same spirit that's moved through Willie, Waylon, Merle, and Hank. Not to say he sounds like them, but his songs unfurl with a similar casual authority. There's no space between who he is and the work he does – never without a guitar, and always writing or listening to/seeking out new music. He's inhabited...He's got that picaresque quality that Dylan had in his heyday, wherein the shambolic narrator undergoes various travails and epiphanies – harrowing, bleak and darkly comical – in the course of a narrative, then leaves you mystified, both smiling and sad.
"I laugh out loud when I hear some of the lines in these songs, they're just so immediate and vivid. The pathos sometimes can leave you, frankly, drained, but the language and the singing is effortless and without loaded portent – it goes down smooth. He's got a million "zingers," as he calls them – the sort of concise one-or two-line descriptions that set up the atmosphere for a song instantly...He's a passionate singer and guitar player and inhabits the songs as he performs them with straightforward, unpretentious, and confident gravitas.
"...These songs are a flat-out pleasure to listen to, and each one brings further rewards on repeated listening...The songs are literate, and there's a painful irony in some of them, but the level of commitment and sweet passion is rare, and born of hard earned experience. Listen to his music!" - Michael Gira, Young God Records
"Death Seat is Toth's first release on Young God Records, and it's easy to see why Gira was interested in him as an artist; Death Seat has the gothic country/blues sound familiar to anyone who has listened to one of Gira's Angels of Light records – Toth's voice is even quite similar to that of the Swans' front man. Wooden Wand, however, is of course an entity unto itself...If you're familiar with the past releases of James Jackson Toth, then this should be a welcome addition. If you're new to the world of Wooden Wand, then what sweet treats await you and your ears." - Jamie Rowland, Penny Black Music