FOLK MAGIK PRESENTS

SKYWAY MAN

For the last decade, James Wallace & the Naked Light recorded and released music from the fringes of Music City USA, touring all over with a singular vision and purpose. All the while, James Wallace’s name figured in as a trusted companion to a few scenes in particular: the Spacebomb sound coming out of his hometown Richmond, Virginia alongside old friends Natalie Prass and Matthew E. White; inside the new Nashville “underground:” where his bands’ magnetic performance listed them as a favorite among Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard; producing records, occasionally filling in on keys with cult-treasured Promised Land Sound; and roaming with the Oakland collective of songwriters centered around a converted school bus who travel under the banner “Splendor All Around.” But now the name is Skyway Man. Solo tours in Japan and China, a new batch of songs intertwined with his fascination with UFO religion, signaled a shift in direction. His inner mercury nudged him toward a new role, and the name Skyway Man rose to the surface again and again. Was it the trickster of mythology, the soul of some eternally missing astronaut, or the old singing storyteller trying to get through?

Wallace possesses a knack for getting caught up in outlandish events – discovering a trove of mysterious letters written by a Ufologist to a woman, describing the New Jerusalem and the 4th dimension, or months spent playing Mahjong in a smokey trailer behind Opryland, working as a Mandarin interpreter for Chinese Ice carvers in Nashville. This knack also extends to orchestrating outlandish events, getting interesting people on board in his endeavors–sweet-talking the flow of life into altering its course. Time for a new name and new record. Seen Comin’ From a Mighty Eye is a dense undertaking, recorded in different locations, simmering influences, channeling all the correct energies, paying the people and spirits who need to be paid, finishing the work the right way over the slow course of time. He recorded the last Naked Light record in Matthew E. White’s attic, and returned to that revered spot to track this new psych opera about strange futures, haunted pasts, and the Mighty Eye in the sky. Spacebomb house bassist and composer Cameron Ralston provided the horn arrangements and Spacebomb house drummer Pinson Chanselle sat at the kit. Wallace sang, compiled and mixed back in Nashville. It’s the usual stew of B-movie scifi, cosmic American boogie, psychedelic folk and it’s apocalyptically good, focused and potent, an immersive fully realized song cycle and visionary sonic structure.

From his modest rancher in Bordeaux on the Cumberland River, the lights of downtown Nashville are visible at night, shining sweetly or casting a lurid glow depending on atmospheric conditions and the viewer’s mood. Music City is changing fast, but James Wallace is invested in its community and spirit–the true believers, auteur session aces and acid cowboys and cowgirls who need each other to survive the sweltering industrial music machine. Skyway Man transcends this landscape, tapping into an older, more spiritual commerce. Seen Comin’ From a Mighty Eye offers the kind of music you would want on the radio for a first or last kiss, the incidental music from some forgotten Spielberg adventure, a soundtrack for the later (not quite latter) days of earth. If lightning strikes and the car radio explodes, it might just be part of the track. Music for driving along the skyway, and thank god the skyway is made of music anyway.

DAKOTA THEIM

“Losing Sleep” is the first single from Theim’s second record, Tangled Heart, and it immediately makes the case for him as one of the Rose City’s most exciting singer-songwriters.” — PORTLAND MONTHLY

“Theim’s latest effort is a breezy pop songwriting gem, full of sun-lit melodies, easygoing percussion, and an irresistible falsetto chorus.” — UNDER THE RADAR

“Losing Sleep” is an enthralling preview of Dakota Theim’s new album, painting the picture of an artist whose knack for crafting timeless pop gems has only grown over the years” — THE BIG TAKEOVER

JEREMY FERRARA

What good is a song if it doesn’t make you feel something? Jeremy Ferrara knows this, and refuses to waste a minute of your time. His good nature and innate tenderness is inescapable, and anyone within earshot of his quavering voice and quiet guitar is likely to swoon in sympathetic reaction. He’s a folksinger, and a song-diviner. His music is as fun as it is finely detailed. His latest album Everything I Hold is exemplary of this style. Produced by Mike Coykendall, the LP features just Jeremy, his guitar, and voice, on eight songs that fill the listener with wonder, empathy, and joy.

Though he’s been playing in bands and experimenting with his talent since the credulous age of 11 years old, it wasn’t until Ferrara went away to college that he was able to fully realize his love of musicianship. While studying physics at UC Santa Barbara, Ferrara frequented thriving DIY music spaces like Biko Garage. These were more than just spaces for Ferrara though. It was in these intimate settings that Ferrara would forge his identity as a musician and find his love for touring. A love that has carried him through 4+ years of multiple tours throughout the US and Europe.

While drawing inspiration from greats like Joni Mitchell, Conor Oberst, Adrianne Lenker, and Neil Young, Ferrara is still able to achieve his own distinct sound. His endearingly forthright lyrics are driven by modern indie hooks paired with timeless, tender, folky sounds. Open tunings and fingerpicking are sprinkled throughout Ferrara’s works, giving them a classic and comforting sort of twang. His debut album, With Every Change (2020), calls on the techniques of his folk predecessors and was first tracked on the stage of a 100-year-old theatre over 3 and a half days in the tiny mountain town of Enterprise, Oregon; before full band features like keyboard and pedal steel were later overdubbed.

At the heart of Ferrara’s work, you will find… well, Ferrara’s own heart. His open-hearted songwriting lays all to bare and takes no shame in doing so.