Who is a sucker for a banjo playing songstress? This reviewer, thats who.
Ruth Moody of Wailin’ Jennys fame, strikes gold with her second solo effort, These Wilder Things. Though technically a “solo” endeavour, the album is jam-packed with some heavy hitting guest stars in the form of Mike McGoldrick, John McCusker, Crooked Still’s Aoife O’Donovan, Jerry Douglas and Mark Knopfler. These guests are in addition to her touring band - Adam Dobres, Adrian Dolan, Sam Howard and her brother Richard Moody.
The disc starts out strong with the Appalachian infused track “Trouble and Woe”, which shows off Moody’s tasteful clawhammer banjo playing. “One and Only” could easily be a pop-radio hit and features a full band and some slight hints of electric guitar.
Although most of the disc is original compositions by Moody, the track that keeps me coming back to this album over and over again is a cover of The Boss’s epic 80′s tune “Dancing in the Dark”, which is arranged and produced to near perfection on this album.
It’s hard to miss Mark Knopfler signature guitar licks and harmony vocals in “Pockets”, a haunting track that will have you scrambling to hit the repeat button on your iPhone. The duet of the two voices is perfectly matched and leaves me hopeful for more work from the pair in the future.
Moody hits many genres on this album; “One Light Shining” is steeped in bluegrass tradition, and she effortlessly skips across the pond for the celtic flavoured “Life is Long”.
Tracks like “These Wilder Things” and “Make a Change” really highlight the Canadian sopranos vocal ability. Moody ends the disc with a powerfully moving track entitled “Nothing Without Love”, which states: “If love is everything – Then we’ve got nothing without love.”
This disc lets Moody shine brightly and gives her fans what they have come to expect – tightly crafted songs anchored by her beautiful one of a kind voice.
These Wilder Things is available at iTunes.
This disc lets Moody shine brightly and gives her fans what they have come to expect - tightly crafted songs anchored by her beautiful one of a kind voice.