Louisville Scene Report (3.13.2015)

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Silent Offerings Of Sound
the collections of Jonathan Glen Wood

In a music world of structured album roll outs where track premieres lead to release announcements which leads to a music video and then a second single and then a mini tour and then so on and so on and so on...you get it.  Anyway, all over the world musicians are silently releasing their art to zero fanfare or structured plan.  Neither way is the factually "correct" way to release music, but there is something pure about artists releasing music into an empty cosmos simply because it's part of their being.  

Which leads us to the gifted Jonathan Glen Wood.  Locals of Louisville may know him from his brilliant band Old Baby, but his solo career has been quite the gift to those who have paid attention to his ever expanding Bandcamp page since July 2014.  Before we take a look at his individual releases, my overall thought of Wood's work is a comparison to untouched land. His music, while new, feels like something found in an old trunk in the attic of a lost time, each of his tracks pulled from brittle and forgotten 78s of the past and to be treasured today.


The best place to start is with Wood's initial full length offering, Ballad Of Jon.  It's an impressive collection of honest lyrics and downtrodden Appalachian/bluegrass strumming. Wood uses this debut to both illuminate his expansive personal knowledge of the history of folk/bluegrass/music and also cements himself as a unique voice which comes in handy when a listener takes the journey through his future offerings.


I remember being impressed with the debut album from Wood, but it's what he did next that really elevated him to a special level of artistry.  From November of 2014 to this current month (March 2015) Wood began releasing small offerings here and there without any announcement.  I call this portion of releases: "the range of sounds".  On the Alone EP we have darkness, with Needle EP we have introspection; electronic nostalgia that echos a Brian Eno piece on On Remembering, and hopeful atmospheric sounds on Views From Love.  

I can't imagine a listener moving from Wood's full album and then navigating through these small offerings without ending up moved by the range and simple brilliance of Wood's artistry.  This is the type of musician who doesn't just create to create, it's born and blossoming within Wood's soul. These are the songs you find on a heavily curated vinyl issue years after the artist is gone and wonder...why wasn't he better known at the time.  Luckily, that doesn't need to be the case.


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