Wooden Horse “What Comes Around”
Powered by Weissenborn guitar, acoustic guitar, banjo, harmonica and stomp box, Jamie Knight and Ben Church who make up Wooden Horse cook up a finely toned set of country folk laced acoustic blues.
On occasions, the boys who between them write seven of the twelve tracks, the others are covers from Bob Dylan, Vince Gill, The Old Crow Medicine Show and Ryan Adams with one traditional cut “C.C Rider” (from Mike Dowling’s version) had me thinking, Kelly Joe Phillips.
But it was briefly lived, since the Worcester boys have a style of their own. With the playing strong, and varied enough so it never becomes stale, Knight’s acoustic guitar and stomp box work is aided by a heap of fiery playing from Church. To see music of the Mississippi Bottomland is shipped over to the UK, and why not.
Working up a storm with guitar, banjo and harmonica the boys hit the road running on “Freight Train” to show them selves to be up there with a platitude acts who have preceded them performing this music. Likewise “Be Lonely With Me” that they also wrote and the Weissenborn laced “Rainclouds” are credits to the craft. While I feel their covers are stronger than their own material it isn’t so much the lyrics or quality of writing that edges it they just save their best vocals for them.
Just a little tinkering and the likes of “Waiting For You” would elevate to a higher standing. As it stands, a wonderful illustration of finger pickin’ takes place that would be the envy of many! While Dylan’s “Simple Twist Of Fate” is pleasant enough there are better songs on the album, and suited to their style. Of the covers I was most impressed with an accomplished and more refined than a good many versions of “C.C Rider” and a superb and particularly sensitive take of Adam’s “Sweet Carolina” — that sees the lead vocals wrapped in finely woven harmony vocals and wonderful Weissenborn. As for Gill’s stirring piece, “All Prayed Up” it has a great deal going for it too with its jangling rhythm and call and answered vocals; that front a stream of steady and mindful guitar licks.
The boy’s ability to relocate the listener to the Deep South is uncanny. Consistent to the album’s end, for the penultimate track they slip into the O.C.M.S’s world-weary “We’re In This Thing Together” in such a fashion like it was their own.