The Threshingfloor aims
for the mythic and the epic…
By Fred Mills
In 2008, erstwhile 16
Horsepower frontman David Eugene Edwards
painted his masterpiece, under his current moniker, Wovenhand. The Ten Stones album was, at least in the opinion of BLURT and this reviewer, a wildly diverse
affair that drew together myriad influences, from rural Americana to gothic noir to pop-tilting
psychedelia. (Read the 9-star review here.) Word arrives today that there’s a
new Wovenhand album incoming, and while it would be hard to top the previous
effort, my money’s on Edwards for pulling off such a formidable feat.
According to Edwards’ label, Sounds Familyre:
The Threshingfloor lies at the foot of a mountain in the American West. It’s
American Indian country: chiseled by canyons, where everything is magnificent
and arresting and echoes unmistakably with whispers of the supernatural.
In Wovenhand’s sixth full-length album, soundscape mimics landscape, towering
and jagged like high peaks, enveloping like the star-studded dome of the
sky. We are acutely aware of our own smallness, as our senses are
accosted by something otherworldly.
The Threshingfloor is distinctively marked by the place where it was made, but David
Eugene Edwards also gathers threads from other places both mythical and
familiar; faraway places, well beyond the borders of his home state. The
result is a stunning album that embroiders strands of Eastern and Balkan
influences into the fabric of American folk music.&n bsp; As a child,
Edwards would dig through records at the public library for these
treasures-first, Appalachian folk, later, music from all over the world.
Now, he travels. Sounds from the band’s recent tours in Serbia, Croatia,
Macedonia and Turkey weave through the record with the unmistakable voices of
the Hungarian shepherd’s flute, the Greek oud, the Turkish saz. Lilts of Hungarian and
Romany pepper the album, subtle imprints from both the Hungarian folk band that
Wovenhand performs with regularly and the Iranian and Moroccan music that
captivated Edwards during the writing of this record. The Threshingfloor connects places as disparate as Mongolia and South Dakota, showing off their richness
like desert gems.
The album is
due out this summer and features Edwards’ cohorts Pascal Humbert on bass and drummer
Ordy Garrison, plus guest Peter Eri on “Hungarian shepherd’s flute” (cool!); it
was co-produced by Edwards and Robert Ferbrache.
And you can
bet we’ll have a full report on it too. We’ve been fans of Edwards since his ‘90s
work with 16 Horsepower and he’s yet to disappoint us. Meanwhile, check out the
band on the web at their MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/wovenhand