Waggon Tales - dirty-sweet American bluegrass(February 01, 2012)
There's nothing like gutsy, low-down, dirty-sweet American bluegrass ... from London - yep that’s right London, England. That's where you'll find The Wagon Tales as they serve up a spicy blend of traditional and original bluegrass with a prickly edge that cuts like a buzz saw. They’ve released a couple of EPs and an album to show case their style – from incisive, mournful sad reflection to intense, full-throttle energy.
They’re called an alternative bluegrass band and I suppose that’s as good a description as any. It gives you an idea of their approach – immersed in tradition but happy to wander off the 'straight and narrow' into different spaces. What that doesn’t tell you is they deliver unrestrained, energetic, carefully-crafted music that’s awash with finely-placed three and four-part harmonies and startlingly precise musicianship.
The Wagon Tales are Ben Somers (multiple-instruments including bass, clarinet, sax, vocals) Joe Auckland (banjo, vocals) Kate Robinson (fiddle, vocals) Lewis Cohen (guitar, vocals) Joe Hymas (mandolin).
They ply their trade around London and its environs – check them out it will be worth it.
Reviewer: Tom Franks