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Band Rock Americana


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"Exist on Cool Album Review"

Exist On Cool is the interesting, impressive new album from locals, Wojo. The trio have been playing together for just over a year, but singer/songwriter Justin Lynch and bassist Aaron Zlatkin have been writing and performing together since the early '90s.

The band's dynamic new album shows a wide range of influences, starting off with a rootsy Pop vibe that gives way to a more adventurous, ethereal approach about midway through. Highlights include "Take It Easy (Alright)," which glides like a cross between Elliott Smith and The Beatles, "The Torture Song," which has the sullen demeanor of Sebadoh, and the bluesy, old-timey Folk roller "Three Rings & a Spotlight," which recalls the slanted Pop of Robyn Hitchcock. Cool stuff.
- CityBeat Magazine - Mike Breen

"Midpoint Music Festival Blog"

"I met Justin Lynch of Wojo not long after I moved to Cincinnati, so I already knew he was one of the most enthusiastic music geeks around. Watching him perform for the first time, I discover that he's also one of the area's best songwriters. His eloquent lyrics were perfectly matched by his band's unpretentious, unadorned roots rock. I make a mental note to stop by Shake It Records on Sunday to pick up Wojo's album, How to Try Without Succeeding, so I can hear 'Last of the Independents,' Lynch's tale of growing up in Corryville, again. "
- Cincinnati Enquirer - C.E. Hannafin

"Record Review (How to Try..)"

"How to Try offers up a mix of mid tempo rockers and whisper quiet
ballads that these local music veterans temper with equal amounts of careful restraint and fresh, raw inspiration....a lyrical goldmine."

- Cincy Music Online - Sean Rhiney

"How to Try Without Succeeding Album Review"

How to Try Without Succeeding is impressive not only based on the strength of the songwriting, but in its broad-stroke scope. Put together as a conceptual piece, the songs revolve around the processes of following your passion and the obstacles that often get in the way, something any local musician with a day job can surely relate to. With a rootsy, timeless quality, Wojo's music has an intimacy that is hard to resist. On the lovely, Neil Finn-like "52 Pick Up," head writer Justin Lynch addresses small-mindedness ("If you pretend a place is not there/It's just another place you'll never be/And if you create a nowhere town in your head/It's just another place you'll never leave") with a soulful delivery that sounds like it's being whispered in your ear....those kinds of philosophical poetics are constant, making Try Without Succeeding one of the finer local releases of the year, especially for those who pay attention to lyrics.

Other highlights include the slow-burning acoustic title track (with its great line about hearing "the sound of one foot retreating/And one in the door") and the driving "Wedding Day," which best showcases the guitar work of Lynch and Mike Fair. Besides their own tunes, the group includes three "cover" songs here, written by local songwriters Dave Gilligan of The Flock ("Everybody Says Forever") and ex-Middlemarch frontman Chris Rogers (the previously unreleased "Approve"), plus one from Brooklyn-based Django Haskins ("Hand to Mouth"). The band does a nice job of fitting outside voices into their thread, as even just the titles of those songs suggest. The objective of making a cohesive "album" vs. a collection of songs succeeds -- in fact, it makes the disc that much stronger. Other artists should take note of Wojo's artful ambition.

Fans of earlier Wilco, who were a little lost in the Art Rock artifice of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, will take kindly to Wojo's enduring, song-driven ruminations. For more on the band, go to worldwidewojo.com.

- CityBeat Magazine, Mike Breen

"Borderlands Album Review"

The band's 1999 debut, Exist On Cool, showed potential, while How To Try showed a more mature and fully realized songwriting vision from singer/songwriter Justin Lynch and the crew. Wojo has gradually added members (this album is their first with keyboardist Luke Alquizola, a great addition to the band) and grown artistically with each passing year. Borderlands is the pinnacle, unquestionably their finest work yet and worthy of attention outside of their local fan base. The international Americana/AltCountry/Roots press should eat this shit up, and with good reason. Borderlands is soulful, poetic Roots Rock that is carefully, masterfully crafted and performed.

The album begins with the gauzy, hypnotic sway of "You'll Feel Better Soon," which, like the beautiful title track, is painted with somber sunset pedal-steel swells and driven by Lynch's heartrending lyrics and unassuming yet expressive croon. It sounds a bit like Paul Westerberg in "Here Comes a Regular" mode or that other band beginning with a "W," before Wilco began turning their songs inside out. The band will also appeal to fans of Louris/Olson-era Jayhawks, circa Tomorrow the Green Grass, as songs like "Waiting For Purcell," "Wrap You Up" and "Ten Tons Wise" are steeped in a timeless Folk Rock tradition (and feature impeccable harmonies) but still manage to sound fresh and wholeheartedly addicting in their melodic magnetism.

But that's just part of Wojo's arsenal on Borderlands, an album that is terrifically dynamic yet never distractingly schizophrenic. Whether going full-on Country twang ("Salt of the Earth [Salt of the Sea]," the Johnny Cash-like "Have You Seen One"), whipping out some jaunty, head-bopping Pop ("Long Month of Sundays") or adding a robust horn section for the old Soul/R&B sound of "I Know What You Need" (a reworking of an old song by local group Filthy McNasty), Wojo has reached the point where, despite dips into other genre soups, they still end up tasting like Wojo. And, after years of stirring in ingredients to get that taste just right, Borderlands is one of the more scrumptious albums from a local band you'll hear all year. - CityBeat Magazine - Mike Breen

"Wojo Voted Best of 2006"

Here they are! The Top 89 of 2006 as voted on by our listeners!


1 Bob Dylan Modern Times
2 Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris All The Roadrunning
3 Rosanne Cash Black Cadillac
4 Neil Young Living With War
5 Dixie Chicks Taking The Long Way
6 Old Crow Medicine Show Big Iron World
7 J.J. Cale & Eric Clapton Road To Escondido
8 Chris Smither Leave The Light On
9 Los Lobos The Town & The City
10 The Decemberists The Crane Wife
11 Beck The Information
12 Los Lonely Boys Sacred
13 My Morning Jacket Z
14 Bruce Springsteen We Shall Overcome
15 World Party Dumbing Up
16 Gomez How We Operate
17 Hiders Valentine
18 Ben Harper Both Sides of the Gun
19 K.T. Tunstall Eye to the Telescope
20 Shawn Colvin These Four Walls
21 Raul Malo You're Only Lonely
22 Tom Petty Highway Companion
23 Tom Waits Orphans
24 Keb Mo Suitcase
25 Joan Osborne Pretty Little Stranger
26 Amos Lee Supply & Demand
27 Gnarls Barkley St. Elsewhere
28 Madeleine Peyroux Half The Perfect World
29 Yonder Mt. String Band Yonder Mt
30 Indigo Girls Despite Our Differences
31 Grace Potter Nothing But The Water
32 Linda Ronstadt & Ann Savoy Adieu False Heart
33 James Hunter People Gonna Talk
34 Chris Thomas King Rise
35 Neko Case Fox Confessor
36 Paul Simon Surprise
37 Josh Ritter The Animal Years
38 Cat Power The Greatest
39 Fiona Apple Extrordinary Machine
40 The Duhks Migration
41 M. Ward Post-War
42 The Ditty Bops Moon Over the Freeway
43 Johnny Cash A Hundred Highways
44 Barenaked Ladies Are Me
45 Sam Bush Laps in Seven
46 Flaming Lips At War With The Mystics
47 Rhett Miller The Believer
48 Willie Nelson Songbird
49 The Derek Trucks Band Songlines
50 Johnny Lang Turn Around
51 Elvis Costello& Allen Toussaint The River in Reverse
52 Bruce Cockburn Life Short Call Now
53 Michael Franti Yellfire!
54 Willy Porter Available Light
55 Dion Bronx In Blue
56 David Gray Life in Slow Motion
57 Dave Alvin West of The West
58 Kasey Chambers Carnival
59 Guy Clark Workbench Songs
60 Ray Davies Other People's Lives
61 Alejandro Escovedo The Boxing Mirror
62 Heartless Bastards All This Time
63 Trey Anastasio Shine
64 BR-549 Dog Days
65 David Gilmore On An Island
66 Buddy Guy Can't Quit the Blues
67 Magic Numbers Magic Numbers
68 Ollabelle Riverside Battle Songs
69 Yusuf An Other Cup
70 Golden Smog Another Fine Day
71 Sonya Kitchell Words Came Back To Me
72 Subdudes Behind The Levee
73 Gob Iron Death Songs for the Living
74 Will Kimbrough Americanitis
75 Nanci Griffith Ruby's Torch
76 Jenny Lewis Rabbit Fur Coat
77 Widespread Panic Earth To America
78 Kane, Welch & Kaplan Lost John Dean
79 Ray LaMontagne Til The Sun Turns Black
80 Blackmore's Night The Village Lanterne
81 Black Rebel Motorcycle Club Howl
82 Teddy Thompson Separate Ways
83 The Be Good Tanyas Hello Love
84 Kate Bush Aerial
85 Lynn Miles Love Sweet Love
86 Big Sandy & His Fly Rite Boys Turntable Matinee
87 Bela Fleck The Hidden Land
88 Ellery Lying Awake
89 Wojo Borderlands
- WNKU FM Listeners Poll


Borderlands - 2006
How to Try Without Succeeding - 2003
Exist On Cool - 2001



Wojo's sound is an Americana-driven stew with just enough British Invasion influence to make them sometimes difficult to pinpoint. An amalgam of alt-country, rock, blues and soul tunes (think early Wilco, minus the banjo), this quintet of musical artists has been supporting the intelligent, engaging, and often witty songwriting of lead singer Justin Lynch since 2003.

At its core, the band is the continuation of a partnership between guitarist/vocalist Justin Lynch and bassist Aaron Zlatkin, which had its genesis in the early 1990s. Like most musical endeavors, the duo encountered a revolving door of drummers and guitarists before finding the right match. That match began to reveal itself in 2000, with the addition of J. Matt Retherford on drums. Lightning struck again in the summer of 2001 with the arrival of lead guitarist Mike Fair. Keyboardist Luke Alquizola joined the band in 2004, rounding out a full spectrum roots and folk rock arsenal, with enough teeth to satisfy the most jaded blues fan. If Stax had a one night stand with RCA Studios B, WOJO would be their love child.

The solidified line up has gained significant notoriety in the Midwest, releasing two full length albums and playing such high-profile events as Free The Music (2003), the Midpoint Music Festival (2003-04, 2006), Indianapolis’ Midwest Music Summit (2004 and 2005) and WNKU radio’s Earth Day Celebration (2004, supporting Cracker).

Their newest CD "Borderlands," is their third full-length album. Released in October 2006, Wojo looks forward to further solidifying its status as musician’s musicians and to crisscross the Midwest in support of the new record. Wherever you are, count on the Wojo experience making its way to your town soon.

::Festivals and Conferences::
2006 Tall Stacks - Justin solo (OH)
2006 MidPoint Music Festival (OH)
2005 Midwest Music Summit (IN)
2004 MidPoint Music Festival (OH)
2004 Midwest Music Summit - Justin solo (IN)
2004 WNKU's Earth Day Celebration (OH)
2003 MidPoint Music Festival (OH)
2003 Free the Music Festival (OH)