Wooden Finger ushers an eerie, story-filled, guitar and voice repertoire into the Jackson music scene. Allison Jenkins, vocalist, and Matthew Magee, guitarist/fiddlist/violinist and more, not only contribute to the local music scene as extremely talented and well-trained musicians, but also as self-proclaimed "Mississippi kids" who love the intimacy and creativity of the Jackson community.
Although Wooden Finger has only existed as a group since October, Jenkins and Magee have already almost completed an album recorded at Coolwater Studios in Canton through the label Esperanza Plantation. Numerous local bands have collaborated with Wooden Finger on the album, including goodmanCOUNTY and Colour Revolt, and rising artist Ginger Williams is designing the album artwork.
"There's a mood that our music seems to cast is what I've heard from most people. It just makes them see things. They're like, 'I just get visions, it makes me see pictures,'" says Jenkins of responses to their music.
This visual element could be attributed to the storytelling approach with which Jenkins crafts the lyrics of the songs. In addition, Magee strives to make their performance a true experience with a distinct atmosphere, "so every song has to be in a certain place and they have to kind of go—it's like they demand to be where they are. So, it's not about a bunch of songs, it's about an entire feel for the show," explains Jenkins.
When prompted for the origins of the name Wooden Finger, Jenkins and Magee describe Gwyneth Paltrow's character, Margo's, wooden finger in "The Royal Tenenbaums" and numerous other references to wooden fingers, such as wooden finger puppets and wooden finger labyrinths. "It seems to cause a lot of questions, so maybe people won't forget it," Jenkins says.
However haphazardly Jenkins and Magee seem to have gravitated to the name Wooden Finger, both agree that the name appropriately captures the almost stark and grassroots quality of their music.
If the name Wooden Finger does not arouse your curiosity, then the glow of Jenkins and Magee as they speak of their music and the artists that have inspired them as musicians will be enough to make you want to attend one of their shows. Jenkins and Magee prepared a list of 10 albums that have been most influential and appreciated in their lives, although these artists and albums remain only a fraction of the influences that have shaped the unique sound of Wooden Finger.
Jenkins and Magee admit that from these albums, among others, they have "derived an approach. We see in them what we want to be elements of our music, even if it's not the same style … There's aspects that we want to incorporate into the way we create music."