Review Revue: John Wesley Harding - Here Comes the Groom

Review Revue
03/31/2016
Levi Fuller

You've got to admire the chutzpah of a British singer-songwriter who names himself after a song and album by one of the most revered American singer-songwriters of the 20th century. (And I suppose you have to admire the chutzpah of an American singer-songwriter who names his song and album after a legendary gunslinger and misspells his last name.) The main thing that it seems anyone had to say about John Wesley Harding (the once and future Wesley Stace) early in his career was that he reminded them of Elvis Costello - which I can't imagine he would have minded, since members of the Attractions played on his first couple albums. And really, who could mind being compared to Elvis Costello?

STOP THE (word)PRESSES! In an amazing and completely accidental bout of timeliness, it turns out Mr. Wesley Stace is performing at our very own Ballard Homestead (a gorgeous venue from the geniuses who brought you the Fremont Abbey) in a few weeks! On April 22, to be specific. Go, get your tickets now, and see if you can sidle up to him and ask if anyone's ever told him he sounds like Elvis Costello.

"For comparison you could say this guy shows a lot of Elvis Costello influence, but it doesn't really matter, he's a good songwriter, and this is a fine LP. 1-2, 1-4, 2-3, 2-5."

"Costello comes to mind, as does Warren Zevon in the 'Werewolves of London' phase. Lacks the biting wit of Costello, but manages an attractive turn of phrase fairly often. Could take a while to sink in, + don't let his looks influence you." [What, incredibly handsome men can't make good music?]

"Appearing w/Mighty Lemon Drops @ Moore Feb. 21." [The internet is so weird. Here's a video of the JWH, the MLD, and the Ocean Blue (remember them?) chatting on their tour bus on this very tour.]

"This is a great folk-pop-romantic-ballad album. Great voice, + great lyrics = beautiful stuff. 'Space Cowgirl'"

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