HANG ME, OH HANG ME
The Deep Dark Woods
The Deep Dark Woods are a band out of Saskatoon whose debut, self-titled CD was reviewed here some time ago, earning a 7-out-of-10. The debut was solid, but with Hang Me, Oh Hang Me, (arguably the best effort on the CD), the band continues to grow and improve as a unit. This is material which is more developed as country music, but don't run screaming that a band with its own voice has sold out. The Deep Dark Woods feels country here, but it's an older, purer, real country sound than you hear coming out of Nashville.
I truly appreciate a band which I feel grows from CD to CD, and The Deep Dark Woods has definitely done that in defining their style.
This music has what might best be described as 1960s country, meets folk/soul, and dang it works well.
This may not be a CD those who are not fans of The Deep Dark Woods would immediately fall in love with, but if you give it a chance, it will grow on you in a major way.
Musically, and lyrically this effort is heavily laden with mood, a lot of rather darkish, especially the lead cut Five-Hundred Metres and the title cut, which is actually an old traditional song. River In The Pines, another traditional cut with music by Ryan Boldt follows that somewhat darker mood here too.
The band's sound is guitar driven with Ryan Boldt and Burke Barlow strumming the strings. Chris Mason adds bass, with Lucas Goetz on drums. In my review of the band's debut I wrote, “all four lend vocals to the band, and therein lies The Deep Dark Woods greatest strength. The vocals are clear and sharp and put the music over well,” and that remains true on this CD as well.
Vocally these guys are VERY solid, and for this refined style of country/folk it's a major plus for The Deep Dark Woods.
Hang Me, Oh Hang Me, shows a nice growth as a band, and I can hardly wait to see where they go with their next CD. Definitely worth a listen for any country, or folkie fan. Check them out at www.myspace.com/deepdarkwoods
-- CALVIN DANIELS
-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Mar. 5, 2008 - Yorkton, SK. Canada