Saturday, October 22, 2011

John Wesley Harding: The Sound of His Own Voice (2011)

"Bob Dylan is my father, Joan Baez is my mother"
And I'm their bastard son."
John Wesley Harding, "Bastard Son"

While English singer-songwriter-novelist John Wesley Harding ever plays down his Bob Dylan affection, after all he did take his stage name from Dylan's 1968 album, his critics have charged that he's so obsessed with Elvis Costello that he should have called himself Myaim Istrue. Well Wes' latest album The Sound of His Own Voice (Yep Roc, 2011), recorded with backing assistance from the Decemberists, Peter Buck, Rosanne Cash amongst others, doesn't so much end the debate on his influences, as make the entire question irrelevant. On this album, Harding's written and recorded what may be the cleverest, most tuneful batch of songs songs in a long, clever and tuneful career. Whether you hear strains of R.E.M., John Prine, James Taylor, Leonard Cohen, Nick Lowe, Billy Bragg, Robyn Hitchcock or even Costello and Dylan here, songs like "There's A Starbucks Where the Starbucks Used To Be" or "Sing Your Own Song" are bursting with a joyous originality all their own.


And check out this radio interview with Wes done by The Pop Culturalist.


  1. Hello again, Jeffen, long time no write. If I may, I wanted to post a link to an interview I did with JWH on my radio show, The Songcircle, on KBOO Community Radio in Portland, OR. While most of the interview focuses on his recent novel (under his real name, Wesley Stace, the album is about music and Wes performs "Little Musgrave", the song central to the novel and one he recorded on perhaps the greatest trad-folk album of the past two decades, Trad Arr Jones. The interview also contains live performances of two songs from the new album, "Uncle Dad" and "Starbucks".

    The interview is streaming and downloadable at

    Hope you don't mind me posting the link, delete the comment if need be, but it is a really great interview - he said so himself!

  2. Thanks for the link (and the comment!)

  3. Thanks for the link (and the comment!)


Thanks for clicking the COMMENTS link.
Now that you're here,I should mentions that
without reader feedback blogs slowly wither and die