Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Review -- THE DEEP DARK WOODS -- Winter Hours

WINTER HOUURS
The Deep Dark Woods
Black Hen Music
8.5-out-of-10
Regular readers may remember The Deep Dark Woods since their CD Hang Me, Oh Hang Me! was reviewed here last March. Well the Saskatoon-based roots/folk/rock band is back again, with Winter Hours a CD due to hit the streets Feb. 17. These guys just keep getting better. There sound is in that sweet pocket somewhere between bluegrass and pop-folk, and might be best labeled just darned good. Hang Me, Oh Hang Me!, earned an eight last year, and this one inches up just a bit higher, and that's impressive. Many bands have a tough time out-doing their last CD, and that these guys have done it speaks to their talents as both songwriters, and musicians. Now I might admit that the style of The Deep Dark Woods might be a touch of an acquired taste, they are the sort of band that could impress the audience of the Yorkton Arts Council's Stars For Saskatchewan series, and could just as easily win favour at a country-themed event hosted by the Yorkton Exhibition Association. These guys keep it pretty simple. The band's sound is guitar driven with Ryan Boldt and Burke Barlow strumming the strings, but it is string work that is often understated, owing its style fully to the folk genre. Chris Mason adds bass, with Lucas Goetz on drums, rounding out a sound that works for the style. All but Barlow take vocal credits here, and at times the harmonies are quite stunning. Songs such as The Birds on the Bridge, All the Money I had is Gone, Nancy and When First Into This Country are among the best of the 12 here. As a Saskatchewan band The Deep Dark Woods are certainly worth checking out, and they should gain a following far beyond the borders of their home province too. Check them out on myspace, or at www.blackhenmusic.com/artists/deep_dark_woods
-- CALVIN DANIELS

-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Feb. 11, 2009 - Yorkton, SK. Canada

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