Compiled by: James Jackson Toth

We’re a little late on getting this month’s DEAD AIR up, but that’s OK because its an extra long one. Our buddy James Toth put this together a while ago and is letting us make it available for everyone right here. You might not recognize him by that name, but you’re probably more familiar with his works under the name Wooden Wand. He’s put records out with Ecstatic Peace and Young God and Kill Rock Stars and is undeniably one of this state’s best. His latest record, Death Seat, came out not too long ago and is definitely worth picking up. Our buddy D. Watusi has a little more to say, check it out…


When I met James Jackson Toth, I was 15, he was 29, and we were both working at Grand Palace Records in Murfreesboro. “So YOU’RE the one who has all the blues records on hold,” he said when we were introduced. Absolutely none of my friends of any age at the time liked blues music like I did. Amazed I had found a comrade with similar tastes (and afraid I might lose him if I wasn’t careful), I gave James a Brownie McGee and Sonny Terry record. He made me a mix CD entitled “Righteous and Riotous Tunes for Dillon” which introduced me to Randy Holden, Elizabeth Cotten, and Dead Moon among others. A friendship was born.

I have since received several great mixes from James, but the one uploaded here might be my favorite. KILLED BY TOTH was compiled when James was in a particular moment of desperation. Penniless, jobless, and with rent quickly approaching, James did something too ingenious for most record collectors to think of. He ripped rare sides from some of his favorite records onto his computer, compiled the songs into one track, and sold CD-Rs of the mix with xeroxed covers at Grimey’s for ten bucks each. I wouldn’t believe it if I hadn’t seen it myself, but I swear to God he actually sold enough to make rent that month. It still blows my mind to this day.

Unfortunately with James, ten bucks doesn’t get you a track listing. Grim.

-D. Watusi

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