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Jack Logan & Bob Kimbell | Woodshedding (Parasol)
Despite gaining a lot of press attention around the release of his flawed, but occasionally inspired, epic 42-track double CD debut, 'Bulk' in 1994, Jack Logan is still very much an underground figure. 'Bulk' was compiled by former Replacements manager Peter Jesperson, supposedly from no less than 600 songs submitted to him following a recommendation of Logan's talents by REM's Peter Buck. Such prolific output, flawed or otherwise is rarely understood or appreciated by record companies or the mainstream press, so in retrospect perhaps his failure to break through to a wider audience shouldn't be such a surprise.

Nevertheless, Jack Logan has continued to make records at his own pace, not as prolifically as his initial flurry might have suggested, and not all of it that easy to track down, but if you can find them they are worth the effort. 'Woodshedding' is his second collaborative effort with Bob Kimbell, who has his own very good psych-pop band, Weird Summer and follows the pair's 1998 debut collaboration, 'Little Private Angel'. Continuing their collaboration, as before with Kimbell writing the music and Logan the lyrics and handling the vocals, 'Woodshedding' is a tad more rootsy than its predecessor, Logan's weather-beaten vocals perfectly suited to the intimate arrangements. Bob Kimbell once memorably described Logan as singing, "like Bing Crosby with severe concussion, but he writes some fairly gear words". I couldn't have said it better myself so I won't try.

Laid back and mostly understated, it might not capture your attention straight away and it won't be to everyone's tastes, but with a sympathetically unobtrusive band in tow that allow the songs to subtly envelop you over time, ultimately 'Woodshedding' may well be an album that you find yourself reaching for more often that you'd initially suspect. And who but the worst cynic could possibly resist a song like I Still Miss Her Dog, an endearing and funny break-up song, similar in theme to Slobberbone's Gimme Back My Dog.

Geraint Jones
December 2002