Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Monday, 21 April 2014 10:00

Album review: I Draw Slow sketches a memorable portrait on 'White Wave Chapel'

Album review: I Draw Slow sketches a memorable portrait on 'White Wave Chapel'
Written by Glen Herbert
Rate this item
(0 votes)

I Draw Slow
"White Wave Chapel"
Pinecastle Records

There is an interesting moment in a recent interview with Dave Holden, guitarist of the Irish band I Draw Slow, when he notes that in America their music is described as Irish, and in Ireland, it's American. The problem might simply be in knowing too much; the band may be from Ireland, but this is American music, drawing from the folk traditions of Appalachia.

I Draw Slow's latest album, "White Wave Chapel," is a collection -- like the two albums before it -- that presents all new songs. That's not something you'll typically find from old-time groups from the U.S., where there is a tendency to stay closer to the roots than to the branches, and where the music tends not to reach too far beyond the boundaries of the genre.

It's too bad, in a sense. The genre is very much alive, and even the hardest traditionalists aren't CD players, but real musicians making real music in order to communicate with their audiences. In the worst examples there is a studied earnestness within the genre, the music presented not as something that is alive and fun, but as something that is good for you. It's more bran than popcorn.

But the thing is, old-time music, even back in the day, was social music, played for one reason only: to have fun. It's dance music, party music. The best performers within the genre approach the music in that vein. A few years ago, the Reeltime Travellers wowed audiences with their energy and their verve. They did lots of standards, but they also did lots of shouting and moving. As well, they used the music as a springboard to new material and new ideas, as in the song "Little Bird of Heaven" was as much of a "hit" as you ever get in old-time music.

In any case, I think the comparison is a good one, because the musicians of I Draw Slow, too, have reached new audiences with their energy, their verve, their creativity and their professionalism. Their song "Goldmine" is what got them noticed last year, bringing them to the States for the first time, in part because of the stunningly beautiful -- and exceptionally professional -- video that they created for the song. Last year, all the members still had day jobs when they came for their summer tour in the U.S. Through their debut spotlight at the IBMAs, they caught some ears, including those of Jerry Douglas and Béla Fleck, who later joined them on stage at various events.

This year, I Draw Slow is back for another tour in the U.S., and if you have an opportunity to see them, you should take it. This is a captivating, exciting, energetic group with some fantastic songs to present, both from their earlier releases and this recent one. Their writing is skilled, rich and wonderfully mature. As in "Valentine" (for which the band did a video starring Aidan Gillen of "Game of Thrones") they write about the complexities of adult life. There are no answers here, just edges and ideas.

Given its experience over the past year, the band has also gained a confidence that really fills out the package. You may have a chance to see the band this summer as it will be back in the States for a series of dates. Barring that, the album is a delight. No doubt we'll be hearing a lot more from I Draw Slow, or at least we can hope.

Upcoming Concerts

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

Local Artist Spotlight


Durango

Sun October 26
Durango is a two-man band with a progressive, heavy rock sound. The band's latest album, "Technologigical Advances," is a concept album that is meant to be heard as a whole unit. To download a track from…

Lida Una

Sun October 5

88.1 KDHX Shows

m-grill.jpg

KDHX Recommends

November
Thursday
06

Discovery Series: All The News That's Fit To Sing: The State of Protest Music in...

KDHX presents "All The News That's Fit To Sing: The State of Protest Music in 1968" as part of the Discovery Series. Series passports can be bought online. This event looks at the music and activism of 1968, through...


November
Friday
07

Art Attack 2014

Start your chainsaws, St. Louis. On November 7, KDHX presents Art Attack 6: a chaotic art auction that supports KDHX and puts the fate of 32 local artists in your hands. Join us for a night of fine art, drinks and destruction....


November
Wednesday
12

Beat Funktion

KDHX presents this Discovery Series show at The Stage at KDHX, featuring Beat Funktion with Silent Kid. Hip, ultra-funky, stylish, and all-Swedish jazz-funk sextet Beat Funktion pays homage to instrumental early ’70s funk,...


Get Answers!

If you have questions or need to contact KDHX, visit our answers portal at answers.kdhx.org.

Online Users

7 users and 7571 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook