By Brian Nixon, Special to ASSIST News Service
ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO (ANS – September 21, 2016) — In the mountain region of the United States there are plenty of people and groups who’ve made fine music over the past few years: Beirut, The Shins, The Lumineers, and DeVotchka all come to mind. In the Parthenon of recent musical acts, however, stands the progenitor of the region’s musical sound — David Eugene Edwards. Treble calls Edwards a “gothic Americana MVP” . Having helped to define the “Denver sound,” Edwards played with several notable bands (Denver Gentleman and 16 Horsepower) before starting his Americana-Goth band, Wovenhand .
If you’re not familiar with the term Americana-Goth you should be. Aaron Johnson describes it as “Melancholy, gothic country punk — with banjos, accordions, cellos, violins, and other non-rock instruments” . While taking cues from earlier American post-punk and Goth bands mainly from Los Angeles (The Gun Club, Christian Death, and X, most notably) Americana Goth has morphed into more than cow-punk, including rock-guitar riffs, driving drums, and other atmospheric characteristics.
And if The Gun Club, Christian Death, and X are the grandfathers of the movement, David Eugene Edwards is the father; having given birth to a brand of American music that is uniquely his own — desolate, fervent, devout, and surprisingly, anticipative — in an Armageddon type of way (wrongs will be made right in God’s economy). And in the midst of his sonic tonalities a convergence occurs with his Christian faith, providing a soundtrack of otherworldliness. (As a side note, when I listen to Wovenhand I think of the literature of Cormac McCarthy and the artwork of Brad Overton , both residents of the Southwest).
With the release of Wovenhand’s newest album, Star Treatment, Edwards continues his romp through the Americana-Goth soundscape. On Star Treatment one can find influences of alt-country, 80’s gothic music, and American rock and roll, all blended into the ever-evolving Americana-Goth landscape. And hinging all of these diverse influences together is Edwards’s anguished-holler of a voice and his Biblical lyrics.
The noted website, Sterogum, listed Star Treatment as the Album of the Week, stating that Edwards is “a mystic wanderer, the type who seeks transcendence in darkness as well as in light. He never hides his voice. It’s a huge, barreling wail, a declamatory roar. And the music matches the majesty of that voice, calling on traditions that can sometimes go past ancestral country music and into tribal-chant territory. This is big music, a type of music that we don’t often hear anymore. It’s music for calling down heaven” .
For more information on Wovenhand and Star Treatment, click here: http://wovenhandband.com/
For a concert review, click here: http://www.sloppynoodle.com/wp/wovenhand-in-santa-fe-new-mexico/
Photo captions: 1) David Eugene Edwards. 2) Edwards live in concert. 3) Brian Nixon.
About the writer: Brian Nixon is a writer, musician, and minister. He’s a graduate of California State University, Stanislaus (BA) and is a Fellow at Oxford Graduate School (D.Phil.). To learn more, click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Nixon.
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