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Clover Lane

Jonah Tolchin

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Album Review

New Jersey singer/songwriter Jonah Tolchin found his musical direction at a young age. After an early rebellious streak as a young teenager, during which he dropped out of school and ran into some trouble with the law, his father introduced him to some old blues records. The soulful, rough-hewn grit of artists like Mississippi John Hurt and Son House connected with Tolchin and led to his further explorations of folk, country, and other American roots music. Immediately after high school, he hit the ground running with a 2011 EP, followed a year later by his first album, Criminal Man. When referring to Tolchin's music, phrases like "old soul" and "wise beyond his years" are often bandied about, and while young white men making stabs at vintage blues authenticity is nothing new, he does have an easy and natural way with this old-time sound. After recording a second EP with producer Marvin Etzioni (Lone Justice), the 21-year-old artist struck a deal with Yep Roc Records and headed to Nashville where he and Etzioni knocked out Clover Lane, his label debut and first recording with a full band. Affecting a throaty, rural drawl, Tolchin's bluesy romps, folk songs, and warm ballads are backed by an impressive cast of veterans: saxophonist Steve Berlin (Los Lobos), harmonica player Mickey Raphael (Willie Nelson), and Deer Tick frontman John McCauley. Straight-ahead blues numbers like the stomping opener "Mockingbird" and the sweaty "Hey Baby Blues" are well-executed exercises in a classic archetype, but Tolchin is at his best when he's singing closer to the heart. Songs like "Low Life" and the single "21st Century Girl" still exude the retro roots vibes but feel far more honest and unguarded, offering a personal authenticity that doesn't come from pre-war guitars and old ribbon mikes.

Customer Reviews

Talent

Saw this guy live in Birmingham, Alabama. There is hope for American music!!!!

Extraordinary Album!

If you love the music of the late Jess Winchester, Jerry Jeff Walker, John Prine, James Taylor, you've found your next favorite extraordinarily gifted singer-songwriter. Jonah's unique voice, his beautiful melodies, and infectious rhythms complement songs rooted in folk, blues, bluegrass, and country genres. Guest artists include Mickey Raphael (Wiilie Nelson), Steve Berlin (Los Lobos), John McCauley (Deer Tick), and Chris Scruggs. One of the best albums of this or any year. Destined to be a classic!

Biography

Born: June 13, 1992 in Trenton, NJ

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '10s

Raised in central New Jersey, singer/songwriter Jonah Tolchin was introduced to blues music in his early teens. After a rebellious few years in which he dropped out of high school and ran afoul of the law, he found himself searching for an outlet for all his pent-up energy. His father had spent some time years before living in Mississippi where he ran a record store, so music was always in the Tolchin household, though it wasn't until Jonah was 14 that his father turned him onto the blues. He immediately...
Full Bio