Let me explain that title: Josh Woodward is worth listening to; Westward Ho! is one of the very few places in the world that includes an exclamation mark in its name; and Catching The Waves is the type of website that can't resist a dreadful pun. Plus I wanted to reassure you that, in this context, the word "ho" has nothing to do with ladies of the night.
I must thank the fantabulous Free Albums Galore for pointing me to Josh Woodward's music. Not that I took any notice. "Maybe later," I thought, ignoring FAG's sage advice. It took a song on netBloc Vol.12 to get me scurrying for more of the same; Shadows in the Moonlight will have you singing along to it or I'm a monkey's uncle. I'd love to hear this arranged by Benjamin Britten and added to his gorgeous A Ceremony of Carols. Maybe one day. When science can revive his corpse.
So, my one track recommendation for today is (ta-dah!): Josh Woodward - Shadows in the Moonlight
There are three sides to Woodward's music: folky, poppy and rocky. There are also three sides to his lyrics: jokey, bitter-sweet and just plain bitter, you sons of bitches. Here's an example of the latter type of lyric from the opening of I Want To Destroy Something Beautiful:
My dear, I'll give you sixty seconds to disappear
And if you don't get out of here... who knows?
Cuz I've been trying to find out if an angel bends or breaks
Or shatters like a stone
Chilling. Good stuff.
Visit his website and you will find 145 free songs. That probably sounds unpalatable. OK, try this: of the seven albums of goodness that you can download for free, please start by downloading the excellent Dirty Wings; if you like that, grab Josh's latest release, The Simple Stuff (Parts 1 & 2). Looking at his website, it seems to me that he has done everything possible to exploit the Creative Commons movement, making it as easy as possible for everyone to hear his music. I quote:
Feel free to download, burn and copy my music for your friends. In fact, I insist that you do it. If I find out that you have slacked around and not burned copies for all of your friends, I'll sic Grover after you. And you do not want Grover after you, trust me on this one. If you want to buy a physical copy of my CDs, that's cool too. I want them to be affordable for anyone who wants one, so I'm selling them on a name-your-own-price basis from my online store.
I think he deserves to see some bullion, not out of sympathy for his undoubtedly worthy efforts, but because his music is highly enjoyable. Although his rock and folk doesn't break any new ground, he is undoubtedly a fine songwriter. Josh has also provided lo-fi previews, lyrics, musical notes, videos for many of the tracks and even instrumental versions of his songs, ripe for remixing. You might think "overkill" but you might also find yourself stealing back to the website in the dead of night for just one more hit of the good stuff. You've become a Woodward Ho.
SORRY, sorry. Bad taste, I know. Why is it that I'll say things on the net that I'd never say in real life? It's probably because no laptop has ever punched me. I'm sure Microsoft are working on it.
Josh Woodward - Dirty Wings (link to zipped album and individual files)