James Jackson Toth 

Waiting in Vain

James Jackson Toth's slow trek from the outer limits of folk into full-blown country was inevitable. But no one expected that his transition into a more accessible sound would be so flawless while maintaining the darkness of his esoteric years. Waiting in Vain does just that. A low and lonesome boom underscores the album's brightest moments, and song titles such as "The Banquet Styx" and "Becoming Faust" say it all. Toth has a sense of humor that gives depth to his solo debut. But with its subtle sheen of fuzz and slow, waltzing melodies, closing cut "The Dome" makes plain that he wholeheartedly embraces the music without losing sight of his own psychedelic roots. 5 stars.

James Jackson Toth plays the Earl w/ the Dutchess and the Duke, and the Good Graces. $8. Tues., Aug. 26. 9 p.m.

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