There is not enough harmonica these days, and that's why Joshua Barton's new cassette Wood Panel Program is such a welcome guest on the boombox in my office. Lovely waves of harmonica harmonics flow through this collection of songs, and they ease my mind. It's all simple and beautiful -- an acoustic guitar, pretty singing by a friendly man and some harmony by a beautiful women. In between the songs are field recordings. It feels like hanging out in the Midwest, which is where I grew up and where I was over the holidays to visit my grandma, who is dying. I think I could be friends with Joshua. He's the son of pentecostal preacher, but punk rock opened his musical world. There's little to suggest hardcore here, except maybe the air of authenticity and earnestness, and that's fine by me. Sometimes I just need to lean way back in my chair and look out my window on a cloudy day and let gentle music calm me.
Lafayette Recs has the goods.