Tag Archives: bluegrass

The Wagon Tales – Introducing (2013)

The Wagon Tales - Introducing (2013)

So, I wasn’t really aware of any kind of British bluegrass scene, but apparently it exists; and The Wagon Tales are a part of it. Based in London, The Wagon Tales have been around a couple of years and this album is their debut.

The band certainly has form; bassist Ben Somers has worked with Muse, banjoist Joe Auckland with Mumford and Sons and Madness (on trumpet), Kate Robinson on fiddle has worked with the English Chamber Orchestra, guitarist Lewis Cohen is a solo blues artist in his own right and Joe Hymas on mandolin has worked with a number of bluegrass bands.

The thing with most bluegrass is that you know exactly what you are going to get and The Wagon Tales are no exception; despite being London-based, they sound authentic. Their authenticity is appealing and they are great at what they do, but they don’t stray far from their core sound. The horns on Slowly Slowly are a welcome addition, however.

I very much enjoyed this album, it is full of energy and a lot of fun, with fantastically talented musicians.

Favourite tracks: Slowly Slowly, Split Personality Blues, Butterflies

Spotify link: The Wagon Tales – Introducing
Sneak peak: 

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The SteelDrivers – Hammer Down (2013)

The SteelDrivers - Hammer Down (2013)

The SteelDrivers are a bluegrass band from Nashville, Tenessee, and Reckless is their third album.

Musically, it’s fairly standard fare and what you’d expect from a bluegrass band; banjo, fiddle, bass. The dual male/female vocals work really well and give a good sound. Some of the songs are upbeat, while others are sombre.

Thematically, it’s pretty cliched: love, loss, drinking, cheating, music. Not that it is a bad thing, it is about getting exactly what you aim to get.

I really enjoyed Reckless, the production value is high, the music is great, toe-tapping and catchy; I was singing along after just one listen, and I think that is the sign of good folk music.

Favourite tracks: Shallow Grave, Burnin’ The Woodshed Down, Wearin’ A Hole

Spotify link: The Steeldrivers – Hammer Down
Sneak peak: