Time can be difficult and for many of us, twenty years goes by in the blink of an eye. For Texas artist and musician Jonathan Read, time has gone by in a fashion that feels like time. Read, a consummate painter, sculptor and artist in his own right, it feels like twenty years since he released his first album under the name The Wiggins. Where some have called the band’s sound outsider art, to me it’s always been lo-fi rock with garage and fuzz undertones. What sets The Wiggins apart from most one man bands, is that it’s always done with the vision of one man with zero compromise. Which is why we chose to speak to him for our podcast, Self Released Songs.
About ten years ago I stumbled upon the band and the live show I caught left an impression. Read on stage donning sunglasses and playing guitar over a drum machine, I’d seen that done before but never like The Wiggins do it. But the live show wasn’t where all of the magic in the project existed. The albums ranging between surf fuzz rock The Wigging s/t CDR to a more easy going approach on WATERWORLD EP were where the true sorcery exists.
The Wiggins had found a way to bridge the gap between acts like R.L. Burnside and Bob Log III, they found a space between Guided By Voices and NOBUNNY, all by doing so on their own terms. When you dig into the catalog you find that Read expanded his instrumentation to include loops, stepped up his guitar playing skills and even has changed the delivery while still maintaining an original sound. Even after having music featured on the television show Big Bang Theory, The Wiggins continue to operate on a level apart from anyone else who tried a similar path prior. Even on the latest two single release Energy + The FAR Future, things are done as Read sees fit. An accomplishment few artists ever get to achieve.
The entire catalog for The Wiggins is available to stream or to purchase directly from Bandcamp. You can stream his episode of Self Released Songs on all streaming platforms, you can stream it on this website and you can support the podcast at Anchor.
Image Credits: Photo by Jonathan Read.