Album Review: Thousand Mile Night by Jonah Tolchin
Great, Based on 2 Critics
PopMatters - 80 Based on rating 8/10
The cover of Jonah Tolchin’s new record, Thousand Mile Night bears some resemblance to the kind of cartoon illustrations that were a regular feature of Michael Hurley’s releases in the 1970s as well as illustrations found on later-era Holy Modal Rounders (who joined Hurley on a number of recordings). This may or may not be coincidental, but I’ll vote for the latter, because Tolchin’s reverence for this material is, like those artists, sincere, yet that doesn’t stop him from displaying a sense of playfulness and out and out joy throughout the record. If there is such a thing as reverent irreverence (and there is because of Hurley and the Rounders) then Tolchin has tapped into it here.
New Jersey native Jonah Tolchin returns with Thousand Mile Night, the understated follow-up to his 2014 Yep Roc debut, Clover Lane. On this outing, the young blues traveler finds himself in Muscle Shoals, Alabama working at legendary FAME Studios with a crack team of players assembled by producer Marvin Etzioni. Musically, it's a logical progression from his last LP, though at times, it feels more reflective and meditative, relying less on outright blues and roots explorations and more on a classic singer/songwriter type of approach.