““No Joke” opens with the title track, a country-gospel tune featuring the interplay of Trish Sheldon’s sweet vocal and Wurster’s wobbling Dylan-y warble, with Bob Wlos’ yearning pedal-steel guitar percolating underneath."”
"Jim Wurster is a man of many moods and any number of unlikely scenarios. As a teacher and musician, he works hard to attain success for both himself and others nearly every single day, and the fact that he dares to dabble in Americana, a genre that’s mostly out of sync with nearly everything else the South Florida music scene has to offer, makes those twin challenges all the more daunting."
“It wasn't that long ago that South Florida stalwart Jim Wurster was trumpeting the latest in a series of superb solo albums, Straight To Me, an effort that provided a harrowing glimpse at Americana's dark side. Wurster was never a stranger to those darker environs; his early efforts with Black Janet first established him as a prodigious artist with a flair for drama and intensity. His later work with the Atomic Cowboys found him newly concerned with country music, a style that clearly found him equally as adept. That said, Wurster's new project, Hired Hand, might be his most striking work yet. Recorded with his stepson Bud Berning's band SkyRider, its origins go back nearly a decade, derived from an incident that turned into a terrible tragedy. As Wurster tells it, Berning used his 2002 summer break from college to embark on a road trip that would take him from Oregon to Central America. During the Mexican segment of the journey he was involved in a horrible accident.”
“ Wurster really came into his own when he went solo and formed the Atomic Cowboys taking a 180-degree turn in direction and crossing over into country with nods toward Johnny Cash, John Prine, and Hank Williams. “Straight To Me, ” his latest album, confirms that twangy intensity…it’s rare to find such authentic Americana in these environs given our South Florida soundscape rarely offers opportunity for harmonies and heartache – much less banjos, mandolins, or pedal steel guitars. With producer Jack Shawde shaping its down-home sound, the album exudes a world-weary perspective – one that’s occasionally dire and downtrodden, but mostly inspired and optimistic. Wurster’s rich croon often brings Roy Orbison to mind, especially on the album opener “Straight To Me,” while his star-crossed duets with Daphna Rose and Diane Ward on “It’s Just a Start” and “So Lucky” recall the best of Johnny and June.”