Welcome to Earthquake Country
This week’s “Music” feature is a profile of Fort Worth singer-songwriter Jason Worley, who recently released a quietly compelling and seriously playful album called Diaspora under the name Earthquake Country. It’s not quite a solo album — top talent from 817 bands like Telegraph Canyon and The Transistor Tramps lend their considerable abilities on piano, fiddle, and lap steel. But it definitely bears the stamp of Worley’s restless, sometimes melancholy worldview.
One of Worley’s big influences for Diaspora was the 68 year old Scottish folk balladeer Bert Jansch. He performed with the 1960s British folk revival band Pentangle and has worked with the likes of Nick Drake, Jimmy Page, Neil Young, Paul Simon, and Devendra Barnhart. Two of Jansch’s most famous early tunes are “Black Waterside” – which was reworked by Led Zeppelin into “Black Mountain Side” – and “Needle of Death,” which despite its obviously tragic take on heroin addiction spurred some British teens in the 1960s to try the hard stuff. Jansch’s guitar work is delicate and hypnotic.