Friday, June 18, 2010

Wovenhand - The Threshingfloor

Denver resident David Eugene Edwards has traveled many worlds since he first started out. Moving from punk to gothic Americana to a dense indie-rock sound he has now landed in a rare and wonderful place indeed. The Threshingfloor takes his previous flirtations with music of other cultures to new levels. The music of his band Wovenhand is unstuck in both time and place, floating through cultures and instruments; now sounding like an executioners dirge (“The Threshingfloor”) now a medieval monk’s morning prayer (“A Holy Measure”). But this is no novelty. There is purpose and cohesion to Edward’s work. He has clearly taken his role as a musical world citizen seriously, as he embraces the music of many cultures with authoritative ease. At the same time he has continued to hone his authenticity as a spokesperson for a lost, somewhat scary America, where the shadows hide secrets. Edwards’ preoccupation with Christian imagery and his own internal struggle with its precepts remains one of the central themes of his writing. Mixed with a maturing appreciation of the natural world, there is an almost Whitmanesque quality in much of his current writing. Songs like “Singing Grass” showcase his poetic sensitivity and growing talents as a songwriter of rare gifts.

The second half of this magnificent album has a more modern feel with a contemporary drum sound and a bit more electric guitar. It is worth mentioning that although Edwards has become a master of many instruments and has adopted the sounds of many cultures into his music, his talents in the rock idiom are formidable as he amply displays on “Behind Your Breath,” the beat-heavy “Truth” or in the almost Velvet Undergound-y album closer “Denver City.” This is indeed a satisfying album for those who have followed David Eugene Edwards on his artistic journey. Over the last 20 or so years he has made a series of increasingly ambitious and artistically satisfying albums that prove him to be one of Denver’s very best exports. It is a sad irony indeed that he is far better known in Europe than in his own home-town. -- Paul


Derek said...

Wovenhand is glorious. Thanks for reviewing this

Anonymous said...

We really love David in Europe. He's a great songwriter. Cheers from Porto (pt).