The band I Draw Slow hails from Ireland, and is fronted by brother and sister Dave (guitar+vocals) and Louise Holden (vocals), backed on fiddle by Adrian Hart, clawhammer banjo by Colin Derham, and bassist Konrad Liddy, with the Holdens picking up the songwriting. Their bluegrass is closer to folk, with Celtic accents added by Louise's vocals and an Irish fiddle accent added by Adrian's playing. Can we use a new term and call it alt-bluegrass? :-)
Turn Your Face To The Sun is the band's fourth album, but the band still has tricks up it's sleeve. Alt-bluegrass indeed! The album opens with "Maria," which not only contains the line "turn your face to the sun," but is accompanied by a shining trumpet line that adds a brightness to the tune that is much like looking to the warm morning sun.
The rest of the album follows IDS's tried and true methods, strong songwriting backed with superb playing, strong ballads to foot-stomping traditional music. "Garage Flowers" is among my personal favorites; a simple guitar tune where Dave and Louise first trade phrases and then drive into some sweet harmonies. The only tune on the album not written by the Holdens is the traditional fiddle tune "Twin Sisters" which will give you a taste of their drive and power as a live band.
I Draw Slow has been making the rounds of American music festivals for several years now, and drawing a lot of attention there. This album is a great way to check out the band, but then you should go and see them live to find out what they really are all about. After all, isn't "Live" what bluegrass should really be?
Mark Hudson is a long time local HVBA member and music lover who, unfortunately, had to move away. He misses the local scene but will look for you at Greyfox!..
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