Sunday, February 27, 2011

Jack Wilcox - A Marriage of Clocks and Highways

Let me preface this post by apologizing for my total lag in time-space the past 2 months. Strangely, though, this record ties into the unexpected move I made in January from the Northwest to Southern Texas. Jack Wilcox was introduced to me by a good friend as a buried regional LP from my neck of the woods, maybe 3 years ago... a lost loner folk record that sounded like it was recorded by the angry son of a logger, trapped in Northern Idaho, a wayward intellectual youth washed out into the resignation of beer-can spray and icy roads of the soul... I liked the LP then, and still find something very appealing about it now. Allegedly recorded in an empty bar, Wilcox's voice is fragile but coarse, and his songs exude the dull ache of blue collar America's trappings and smoke filled particle board interiors. The whole trip may seem a little flat at first but I found a subtle edge to it all that only grew on me over time. For folk fans, it is most certainly something worth checking out. When the record was first brought to my attention I tried quite hard to find Jack, but was met with a series of dead-end phone numbers and addresses. Having spent a fair amount of time digging for records in Idaho as well, I figured that finding a copy in the wild was inevitable, but still after 3 years of sporadic road trips across the state I had nothing to show and was no closer to finding Jack himself. Having taken note of one of Jack's prophetic song titles, "Don't Ever Fall in Love With a Poet," nearly 3 years ago itself, I did the exact opposite of his prosaic advice and made a life with my lover, a lady so gifted with the pen that I wove my words around her for as long as I could. We parted ways after the holidays this year, though having taken our last Christmas vacation together in Southern Idaho, and my fate still completely unbeknownst to me - I found a beautiful copy of this very record at a thrift store along the way! An eerie capstone to a wonderful chapter in my life, something I'm proud to have been apart of. Jack, if you're out there, drop me a line... I'd love to buy you a beer someday and talk about the tallest pine trees devised by man. Texas dispatches next time... Adio!

The Poet Reclines