Wayward Jane – The Flood
Wayward Jane – The Flood
Format: CD – Digital
Label: Down The River Records
Release date: September 8, 2023
Edinburgh-based Wayward Jane’s music is a modern, transatlantic interpretation of American folk and old-time traditions, blending roots music with fresh arrangements and original compositions. Their rich sound features fiddle, clawhammer banjo, double bass, guitar, wooden flute and close vocal harmony. Their live shows have a joyful energy, expressing the fine musicianship and playful chemistry of the band members with material ranging in mood from high-octane, toe-tapping tunes to tender and soulful songs. Wayward Jane tend to leave audiences with a glow in their hearts.
The Flood is the third album from Scotland’s folk and roots 4-piece Wayward Jane. It marks the fullest realisation to date of a unique sound that the band have been carefully refining over the last 8 years. Captured at beautiful Heriot Toun in the Scottish Borders, The Flood is a collection of mostly original songs and tunes, which are at once familiar and comforting but also don’t belong to any one musical genre. There are strong influences from American folk, old-time and the world of thumb-driven acoustic guitar but it is also clearly a recording made by musicians who have come up through the UK/Scottish traditional folk music scene.
There is a breadth of feeling and mood on display across the album’s twelve tracks drawn from the varied approaches to arrangement and lyrical composition. The result moves fluidly from measured love letters to the band’s hometown through dark soundscapes evoking the lonely high plains, to tender moments touching on the sorrow of current global crises and plaintive melodies composed to calm a young child. These sit side by side with traditional American folk numbers and newly penned old timey reels fit for the hollers of the Appalachian mountains.
The record was engineered and mixed by friend of the band and audio wizard Graeme Young, with whom Wayward Jane are delighted to be working again. It was skilfully mastered by Sam Proctor who has been behind many classic releases on the contemporary UK folk scene (Bellowhead, Spell Songs, Sam Sweeney). In an age of decreasing connection and attention spans, The Flood is a record to sit down with and let wash over you.
Wayward Jane is Dan Abrahams (guitar, double bass, vocals), Sam Gillespie (vocals, guitar, wooden flute), Rachel Petyt (fiddle, vocals) and Michael Starkey (5-string banjo, guitar, vocals).
Each member brings a diverse range of influence and experience to create the band’s distinctive sound. Dan is a multi-instrumentalist and sought after composer/arranger working in an impressive variety of musical contexts. His other projects include folk genre-busters Dowally and soul-funk powerhouse The Foo Birds. Sam is one half of celebrated Northumbrian folk troubadours The Brothers Gillespie. He is known for his delicate acoustic guitar/wooden flute playing and soaring, vibrato-inflected singing. Rachel is the other creative force behind Dowally and a firmly established fixture of the Edinburgh session scene. She has a totally unique fiddle sound, blending stylistic elements of Scottish folk, gypsy jazz acrobatics and old-time grit. Michael brings a love of American string band music and infectious clawhammer banjo syncopation. He also plays/records as part of critically acclaimed old time duo Hannah Read & Michael Starkey.
01. Edinburgh Rain
03. Shake Sugaree
04. Crossing Over Water
05. The Flood
06. Down the River
07. A Stone’s Throw )
08. Little Satchel
10. Little Bazoo
11. Didn’t it Rain
Dan Abrahams – double bass, guitar, vocals Dan Abrahams
Sam Gillespie – vocals, guitar, wooden flute Sam Gillespie
Rachel Petyt – fiddle, vocals Rachel Petyt
Michael Starkey – 5-string banjo, guitar, vocals