dark tales of debauchery and trouble swinging from melodies that survive.
Born in Dublin in 2008 I Draw Slow have released their third album to both critical and fan acclaim. An acoustic five-piece outfit comprising vocals, guitar, fiddle, banjo and double bass. Brother and sister Dave and Louise Holden have been writing together for two decades beginning with Dublin band Tabularasa. Joined by violinist Adrian Hart , claw hammer banjo player Colin Derham and double bassist Konrad Liddy.
I Draw Slow have managed to create a sound that incorporates elements of alternative-country, Americana, bluegrass, folk and Irish to create a new sound that is rooted in the Appalachian mountains of the eastern United States. Traditionally Appalachian music is derived from various European and African influences. Irish and Scottish traditional music, especially fiddle music, English ballads and religious hymns all contributed to what we now recognise as country and bluegrass. Immigrants from all the celtic nations ended their trek in the Appalachians and with them came the musical traditions of their homes. The most iconic symbol of Appalachian culture, the banjo, was brought to the region by slaves in the 18th century and was soon picked up by local musicians and the transformation had begun.
Debut album ‘Downside’ slipped out relatively unnoticed but it was their 2011 album ‘Redhills’ that garnered them untold awards and plaudits. It was instantly awarded RTE Album Of The Week and by the end of the year they had been signed by the top Bluegrass label in the United States, Pinecastle Records. With the applause came sell out tours of America which has kept them busy until this years ‘White Wave Chapel’. Engineered and mastered by veteran Irish producer Brian Masterson (Planxty, The Chieftains, Van Morrison, Christy Moore) White Wave Chapel has again won them RTE Album Of The Week and garnered amazing reviews from the mainstream Irish press and the worldwide folk and roots scene. The new album expands on the bands characteristic sound and the mix of Americana, bluegrass and traditional Irish music certainly has a lot of appeal. Of course the storytelling style of lyric writing also deserves a mention and is fast becoming the element that I Draw Slow are most well known for.
I Draw Slow
Thirteen tracks clocking in at just over forty minutes and the music is quite frankly wonderful. ‘All Souls’ begins the album perfectly and all those wonderful influences combine again on ‘Dont She Run’ one of the albums standout tracks and the rest of the album continues in the same vein with the Bluegrass influence looming large but Irish music still there in the mix. Great vocals and also a great vocalist contribute massively to this albums appeal. I Draw Slow sound like they love and enjoy playing this music and that spills over and infects the listener too. Though this may not appeal too much to the hardest of hardcore celtic punk rockers anyone with only a modicum of interest in the history, the roots and the development of what became celtic-punk (or even celtic-rock) will love this LP as much as I do. An album full of toe-tappers and if you’re a bit more adventurous than me you’ll be swinging your partners around the living room soon as you hit that play button!