Friday, March 14, 2014

add 0791 Woven Hand

Woven Hand is former 16 Horsepower man David Eugene Edwards, who plays almost everything on a disc that could sometimes be called bluegrass gothic. Dark and portentous, Edwards broods over his songs, ensuring that the shadows are dark and long. The mood isn't a million miles from a lot of Nick Cave's work, although the acoustic textures (electric guitar occurs sparingly on a few tracks) tend to diminish the impact a little. What's certainly outstanding is his feel throughout, especially on a cover of "Ain't No Sunshine" where the golden orb rarely gets a peek in. "Arrow Head" starts with an Appalachian nod to a Celtic past before heading through as white gospel church, then down the holler to the graveyard, and the striking opener, "The Good Hand," lays out Edwards' musical manifesto with an almost funereal grace. It's good, often very good, but it could have been better if Edwards had been willing to let a few more chinks of light into the hermetic world -- and also a greater variety of instruments. He's a strong mandolin player, but it often doesn't suit the mood he's trying to convey. Still, it's worth repeated hearings


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