Tracks Added to Three Official Spotify Playlists and Key Radio Stations WMOT (Nashville, TN) & KCSN (LA)
Hear/share “Suffering Well,” which features Luther Dickinson on guitar (OK to share).
Buzz on the album has been strong:
“4 stars out of 5… Tolchin combines a bluesy sensibility with soul and supple blues rock that’s innovative and humble… These 50 minutes glide by with grace and integrity.”
–Hal Horowitz, American Songwriter, October 18, 2023
“Burgeoning star… has a knack for performing a riff that sticks to your ribs.”
–Jacob Uitti, American Songwriter, September 23, 2023
“Enticing… From his shadowy Dan Auerbach-esque vocals to his similar badass guitar tones, Tolchin’s sound is sure to catch a listener’s attention and get them feeling some kinda way: maybe bold, confident, or even a little dangerous.”
–Mikayla McGrory, Music Mecca, July 28, 2023
“Hit the Post To Wire sweet spot.”
–Post To Wire
“A versatile platter of American roots music with thoughtful blues-guitar statements.”
–Sean McDevitt, Vintage Guitar Magazine, September, 2023
“Dockside showcases Tolchin’s exceptional talent on lead guitar, harmonica, and vocals… Tolchin and Dickinson find new ways to explore blues and soul-based songs, with funky rhythms and new ideas on guitar.”
–It’s Psychedelic Baby Mag, June 27, 2023
“On his new album Dockside we find him digging into a Muscle Shoals sensibility adding some more groove to his palette.”
–Jonathan Aird, Americana UK, June 29, 2023
“Call it spiritual reawakening or simply a change that better suits one who has battled depression, divorce, a psychotic breakdown, and re-marriage and fatherhood. All those factors led to Tolchin reaching deep into the blues and reaching out to Luther Dickinson, who prods Tolchin’s guitar leads with his rhythmic riffs and co-produced the album recorded at the titular Dockside studios in Louisiana… Tolchin has delivered one of this year’s more exciting blues albums… bodes for a strong future in this idiom.”
–Jim Hynes, Glide Mag, Oct. 12, 2023
“Will stay with you for a long time… When an album can transport you away, you know it’s good.”
–Barry Hopwood, Blues Matters Magazine (UK)
“Jonah Tolchin may be best-known as an Americana songwriter bringing heartfelt, affecting, lyric-driven songs. He’s set to affect in a new way on his new album: with his guitar.”
–American Blues Scene, August 22, 2023
“Dockside becomes an album that establishes a certain standard, while hopefully bringing Tolchin to a heightened level of awareness and recognition. Continued attention to this emerging artist will certainly be well-deserved… Authenticity is imbued… Tolchin manages to inject personality and perspective into each of these offerings, a varied dynamic that allows each song to maintain its own particular persona.”
–Lee Zimmerman, Living Blues Magazine, September, 2023
“Will you leave spellbound.”
–John Michie, Up To Hear Music, July 30, 2022
“The blues of Dockside is as authentic as it gets.”
–Phillip Smith, PhillyCheeze’s Rock & Blues Review, October 7, 2023
Tolchin found himself writing in a more blues-based vein when several things happened in his life. The results appear on his stunning new Luther Dickinson-co-produced album Dockside, recorded at the legendary studio of the same name in Louisiana:
1. Jonah got re-married and became a parent. As a step-father, suddenly any sense of artistic limitation seemed not only trivial but also hypocritical as he encouraged his daughter to follow her heart; his heart led him back to the blues.
2. He felt that he’d had enough life experience (ups and downs in the music business, life on the road, a psychotic episode, ADHD, a divorce and then a re-marriage, writing a book on spiritual approaches to guitar) to write a good blues song. Through his trials, from his Jewish upbringing to recent Buddhist revelations, he had grown spiritually.
3. Peter Green, one of Jonah’s chief inspirations and a Jewish guitar player, died on July 25, 2020.
Raised by Jewish parents, Jonah’s 23andMe test revealed him to be 99.3% Ashkenazi Jewish. Inspired by the legacies of Green and Mike Bloomfield, both Jews, Tolchin felt that there was a way to respect the blues and find his own way within the genre. Though he refused to go to synagogue in his youth, he felt a connection to Judaism via Green and Bloomfield. He was bullied because of his faith, finding refuge in his guitar and in the playing of his Jewish guitar heroes.
Jonah’s spiritual journey started with Judaism and has led him to Buddhism, especially after a retreat at Blue Cliff Monastery in upstate NY in 2015.
Soon, he realized that he had a newfound perspective on the painful well of experiences he had been through that could lend itself to blues. Take “Suffering Well,” which features co-producer Luther Dickinson on guitar; the song takes a Buddhist angle that suffering is inevitable but there’s a way for one to take sorrow and turn it into compassion. On “Nothing Gonna Take My Blues Away,” Tolchin writes as someone who does not want his blues taken away; without the pain, one can’t have growth of self. These ideas came from the writings of Thích Nhất Hạnh, which translates to No Mud, No Lotus [Flower]. It’s a book he took into a prison group with his mother, a storyteller who was leading a workshop. (Thích Nhất Hạnh passed away in January, 2022.)
Dockside is the first release on the label Jonah has started Clover Music Group, the formation of which helps him to stay spiritually grounded (and to which he’s already signed a second artist with plans to grow a full roster).
In a recent Instagram post, Tolchin wrote, “Most artists need to tour in order to have a career, or make any kind of substantial income. One of my goals of starting this label was to be able to create a respectable income and following from streaming alone. It’s not an easy feat, but I know people who are currently doing it—so I know that it’s possible.
Even though streaming royalties have a long way to go, I just want to express my gratitude to @spotify for supporting my music over the last decade. With this kind of continued playlist support, I may be able to achieve my dream of focusing on being a writer and recording artist.
Because of my ADHD and various other mental health issues, I’ve learned that I need to be grounded and have a daily routine. It’s tough to do that on the road, and most importantly I want to be home with my family and watch my daughter grow up. Those are the things that matter most to me.”