Wood

Songs from Stamford Hill

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Springsteen, Dylan and Americana fans will find nothing unauthentic about James Maddock's brand of singer-songwriter music from Leicester, England which goes by the brand name, Wood. The verse to the opener "Stay You, " is Boss-ified, while "Whole Lot To Think About" is a country-Neil Young moment (Maddock must've heard "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" a time or two). With his influences on the sleeve of his peasant shirt, Maddock's dreamy, gentle songs sound familiar-it's impossible not to imagine his musings as outtakes from the Jackson Browne/Eagles songbooks. And that's the problem: Wood's best songs ("Straight Line" has a Fleetwood Mac/"Landslide"-feel; "Knock on the Head" could be an inverted "Going to California" ) sound like retreads of others'-and those are only the first four! Ultimately, Maddock will have to invent something he can claim as his own, but for now he's picked a primo crop to emulate.

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