Wooden Wand is the stage name of singer-songwriter James Jackson Toth, who has recorded under his given name as well as the name WAND. The style of music recorded by Toth and his many incarnations has drawn on a variety of both conventional and experimental folk and rock influences, including psychedelic folk, freak folk and indie. Though he was a significant player in the New Weird America trend of the early- to mid-2000s (decade) along with Devendra Banhart, Akron/Family, Joanna Newsom, and collaborators The Vanishing Voice, Toth has been difficult to pigeonhole in one genre; recent releases have been identified as acid folk, free jazz, outlaw country, and country-tinged rock. Toth has appeared on such labels as Kill Rock Stars, Ecstatic Peace!, Rykodisc, and Young God.
Wooden Wand's collaborations have been nearly as wandering and nomadic as Toth himself, a New York native who attended Purchase College before relocating to Knoxville, Tennessee, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and most recently Lexington, Kentucky. He has recorded with the Vanishing Voice (including ex-wife Jessica Bowen and other bandmates Jarvis Taniere and G. Lucas Crane, who went on to form (Jex Thoth) and (Woods), respectively, and Heidi Diehl), the Sky High Band, the Omen Bones Band, and the Briarwood Virgins (a Birmingham, Alabama supergroup featuring members of the Through the Sparks, Plate Six, Delicate Cutters, and Verbena). In January 2013, Fire Records in the UK released Wooden Wand's latest critically acclaimed record Blood Oaths of the New Blues, which was the second album recorded with the Briarwood Virgins band in Birmingham in February 2012.
Says Swans frontman and head of Young God Records Michael Gira, James Jackson Toth’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.”