Alias Wayne is one of those chameleon-like artists shifting musical style as readily as he changes his sonic guise. But no matter in what form or fashion you encounter him, whatever titular hat he might have on, whatever vibe there is going on in his music, he always retains that core vibe which makes you feel as if you have heard the song before somewhere. And not in a plagiaristic, “that sounds just like…blah blah blah…” sort of way but instead in a “that sounds like a classic, I’d better pretend I know it so that I sound knowledgeable and worldly wise” sort of ay.
And Joan of Ottawa does sound like an established part of the musical canon, a long lost Dylan cover perhaps, a Neil Young album track which never got the recognition it deserved, a Jackson Browne hidden gem? Blending acoustic singer-songwriter vibes with just enough electric energy and drummed drive to take it into that often difficult to navigate, folk meets rock’n’roll ground, Joan of Ottawa is strange and beguiling sonic slice.
The trouble is having said all of that I am now going to spend the next 30 minutes running searches to make sure this really isn’t an established classic thus making me look like the fool who shouldn’t be let near a music review ever again. Such is the convincing nature of Alias Wayne’s songwriting.