May 2014 National Music Reviews

Review: Jonny “Two Bags” Wickersham – Salvation Town

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Jonny “Two Bags” Wickersham
Salvation Town
Folsom Records
Street: 04.01
Jonny “Two Bags” Wickersham = Elvis Costello + Neil Young + The Gaslight Anthem

The sideman, usually with a guitar in his hand, has finally stepped out of his role as six-string slinger for Social Distortion and put together his first solo full-length. While Jonny is well known for his punk rock work, it’s surprising how singer/songwriter this record is, evoking Dylan way more than the Ramones. Perhaps that’s to be expected from a guy who’s played loud, brash rock n’ roll in other people’s bands more than his own. On the country-tinged “Alone Tonight,” steel guitar and organ tones make you feel every bit of solitude that Jonny is expressing in his lyrics. The piratey accordion on “Avenues” adds so much to the jaunty ditty that it gives Jonny the chance to hit harder than he does on the rest of the record. From a few rockers to folk-flavored, soul-filled ballads, you can hear punk in all of it. –James Orme

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