The Deep Dark Woods – Jubilee [album review]

by Woody on December 10, 2013


It truly boggles my mind that The Deep Dark Woods has not found a wider audience in the States. The music they produce harkens great acts such as Dylan, The Dead and The Band; but yet every song they produce sounds as fresh as a spring morning. Their talent is boundless and after spending time with them on a few occasions, I can say without question – they are as genuine as they come.

Jubilee is their fifth album and one that hopefully will see them plying their trade to a larger crowds. Helping them with their cause is Jonathan Wilson who produced Jubilee. When I heard that Wilson was going to be tweaking the knobs for Jubilee, my heart sang out in glee. I couldn’t think of a better match. Both Wilson & DDW have such a deep appreciation for the music of yesteryear but the skill and willingness to put their own stamp on a brand of music they love so much.

First off, I love what Wilson has done with the tunes that bassist, Chris Mason sings. The opening tune, Miles and Miles is some swampy, scuzzy psychedelia that eases into an different realm every time lead singer, Ryan Boldt pops up on background vocals. The seven minute tune The Beater also sees Mason doing some of his best work. Mason’s vocals have never sounded better. If I was him, I would have Wilson come with me wherever I went – ordering dinner for him, picking out t-shirts, new bedding, etc.

Shirk posted the video for Jubilee last week and that is an achingly beautiful tune of hope and perseverance. The vocals don’t pour out of Boldt, but limp out of his mouth as if Boldt is on his last legs while singing the track. But the track of the album and, in my opinion, the whole of their five albums is The Same Thing. This is a track that Jerry, Phil and crew would have been proud to be kicking out in the early 70s at The Fillmore. When they ease into that Booker T jam in the 4th minute, you are listening to a band that is clicking on all cylinders.

The Deep Dark Woods are a HearYa band through and through. If HearYa ever spawns a talk show, these guys would be our house band. We’d make Ryan Boldt grow a big afro like Questlove and knock out one liners. I simply can’t say enough good things about their music and them as people. Go buy their albums and get them the recognition they so richly deserve.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa

Follow The Deep Dark Woods at @TheDDWs

Follow one of the funniest people on Twitter at @RyanBoldtDDW

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

ekorn December 10, 2013 at 10:41 am

Finally. I’ve been waiting to read what you would have to say about Jubilee. Now is the session going up soon? I’ve been listening to Jubilee daily (often more than once) since its release and the other day I decided to put on The Place I Left Behind. I heard things in that album that I hadn’t heard before listening to Jubilee so I listened to all the previous albums again. For me, Jubilee enhances those older recordings. Can’t explain why, it just does. Must be some DDW magic.

Wrenn December 10, 2013 at 1:12 pm

Thanks for the review Woody! Jubilee feels like it took the best elements of the band’s first four albums and put them all together. The band is magic and I will never ever tire of hearing their music. They put on a wicked live show as well, sprinkling amazing covers into their set. They did a cover of Dylan’s “Absolutely Sweet Marie” that blew my mind! Thanks for getting the band out there Hearya, so glad to read new things about them! I agree about Mason’s voice on his few tracks; while I really love Birds on the Bridge, The Beater and Miles and Miles are ridiculously great. Excited for the new session!

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