Here's an interview I did with the Canadian Appalachian Folk Band, The Deep Dark Woods, at last year's Stampede. This is a group of lovely genius men with rather impressive beards if I may say so and we at Ladywood wish nothing but success for these country-esque crooners.
Here's a favourite tune of mine Charlie's is Coming Down for you to listen too while perusing the interview!
It can be difficult to classify emerging artists squarely in one specific genre, and frankly a definitive classification is not always necessary, such is the case with the Deep Dark Woods. You can call their music country, rock, Appalachian-folk or frankly whatever you like, they are what they are and they are wonderful because of that. Their music evokes feelings of long friendless winter nights and small dimly lit bars filled with weathered looking people who are more than familiar with the achy loneliness of heartbreak. [[MORE]]The Deep Dark Woods are so hauntingly genuine that their music forces you to reconcile your own feelings of remorse and regret so violently that it can feel at times intrusive. Rarely singing of complicated things, Ryan Boldt’s plainspoken lyrics are often about a familiar theme: the total and complete agony of being in love, which because of the relatable nature, frees you to involve yourself with the music as much or as little as you please. Luckily for us it’s not all sad choruses and doleful guitar solos, their entirely fun rhythm section and at times playful lyrics means the music is never overwhelmed by heaviness. Their fourth full length album, The Place I Left Behind, emerges from the shadowy depths of roots music, combining elements of alt-country and indie rock melancholia so perfectly it may just be the ticket to the bands next big break. Drawing inspiration from old folk murder ballads and with tonal elements reminiscent of the Band and Neil Young, the Deep Dark Woods’ music makes you want to sit in front of a crackling fire and contemplate your own existence, and then immediately get up and dance. If that rather conflicting sentiment appeals to you then so will this band.
To truly understand the authenticity of the Deep Dark Woods, you have to understand that while the majority of the band members hail from Saskatoon a few members of the group choose to set up permanent residence in the small town of Mortlach, Saskatchewan (population 254). Mortlach is a two hour drive outside of Saskatoon and the epitome of small town Saskatchewan. Knowing this it’s easy to understand how they can translate the achy solitude of the prairies into beautiful and at times transcendental music. Geoff Hilhorst, the bands organist/keyboardist explains, “We play traditional murder ballads or folk music that could be a couple hundred years old. It’s kind of like an old style of writing music with- lack of a better word- a contemporary twist to it. Some of the songs we play could be 100 years old but they’re not, because we play them with electric guitars. “Chris Mason, the bands Bass guitarist and vocalist, calls the band “a rock band playing folk music”, which serves to explain the more significant elements of classic rock in the soon to be released album, The Place I Left Behind. Chris goes on to explain that while still authentic to the bands timeless sound The Place I Left Behind is different from previous releases because “we’ve changed since the last one and we produced this one. I like the idea of switching it up every album, where you record, how you produce it.”. “I agree with Chris” Geoff Hilhorst, the bands drummer says “There are bands out there that release 4 albums all recorded in the same studio with the same producer and it might as well be one record.” For this album the band rented new and vintage instruments to use in the recording sessions at Halifax’s Sonic Temple Studios. Geoff explains that they brought in “a few new 12 string Rickenbackers, guitars that we normally couldn't afford, some cool pedals, a drum set from 1967, an old Wurlitzer piano that wasn’t in tune. I played a solo on it on the album, completely out of tune, that I actually really like. The imperfection is something that we all like”. For more of the Deep Dark Woods, check out their newest album The Place I left Behind which was released across Canada on August 2nd courtesy of Six Shooter Records.
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