The 25-year career of singer/songwriter John Wesley Harding has skyrocketed of late with the publication of no fewer than three critically acclaimed novels under his birth name, Wesley Stace. Equally amazing, the artist named for Bob Dylan’s misspelling of Texas gunfighter John Wesley Harden has just released the finest album of a career that’s seen him record at least 18 longplayers for labels ranging from high-profile majors to imprints so small the back catalog was stored in somebody’s garage between the cat box and the washing machine. Produced by old pal Scott McCaughey (Young Fresh Fellows) and fleshed out by no less than R.E.M.’s Peter Buck and the Decemberists, The Sound Of His Own Voice (Yep Roc) is a full-bore stunner with Wes (nobody calls him John) weaving his usual lyrical magic through knockout arrangements of extraordinary songs that revive the ghosts of the Kinks, David Lynch soundtrack guru Angelo Badalamenti and wall-of-sound maestro Phil Spector. For yet another career-topping milestone (gasp), JWH will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week for (yes it’s true) the second time. Read our brand new Q&A with him.
Harding: As many touring musicians will know, the Bandago Sprinter is the way to go. And it’s the first time I’ve gone it. It’s a bespoke van for touring. There’s both AC (alternating current) and AC (air conditioning), the former of which means I can type this without my battery going dead, the latter that I have my own “micro-climate.” And then there’s also wi-fi, which means I can send this, too. And I’ve only just spotted the DVD player and TV screen In the front seat, Scott McCaughey and John Moen are listening to “Within You Without You,” and Jenny and I are in the back, both fiddling around with keyboards. Here are a few of our instruments in the back of the van.
Photo after the jump.