Jonny Two Bags
Isotone Records 2014
Review by David Bowling
Jonny Wickersham, (a.k.a. Jonny Two Bags), has released the first solo album of his career. He has been a staple on the west coast punk scene since the early 1990’s with such bands as Social Distortion, Cadillac Tramps, and the U.S. Bombs.
April 1st will see the release of his Salvation Town. It is a change of direction for Wickersham. Much of his work with the three aforementioned bands had a raw and rough edge. He has now traveled in more of a mainstream rock direction. While the music is basic, there are melodies and incisive lyrics that move him away from his punk roots.
A number of well-known musicians are along for the ride. Jackson Browne shared the vocals on “Then You Stand Alone.” Guitarist deluxe David Lindley brings his skills to four tracks. Los Lobos’ member David Hildago joins him on “Wayward Cain.”
Drawing on such early influences as Warren Zevon, Linda Ronstadt, and Jackson Browne; he has created a good and surprisingly cohesive album of music. The lyrics travel in a dark direction at times but they tell his stories well. Tracks such as “Ghosts,” “Wayward Cain,” “One For The Gutter,” and “Forlorn Walls” all deserve a listen of two.
Now in his mid-40’s and after over two decades recording with bands, he has released a consistently excellent solo debut. He was wise enough to let the music take on a life of its own, which enabled to produce some unexpected but ultimately creative music.