I Draw Slow’s second album for Pinecastle Records, White Wave Chapel, draws from the many roots and branches that have made up the underlying ingredients of bluegrass music over the years. Not a standard bluegrass album by any means, the recording is an amalgamation of what Monroe called the “ancient tones” of the British Isles mixed with folk music and Appalachian grooves. I saw the band jam at IBMA’s World of Bluegrass in impromptu fashion with IBMA award-winner Joe Newberry, and that showed me the band had their Appalachian chops underneath.
I Draw Slow hails from Ireland and consists of Dave Holden on guitar and vocals, sister Louise Holden on vocals, Colin Derham on banjo, Adrian Hart on fiddle, and Konrad Liddy on standup bass. All of the songs here were written by Dave and Louise Holden. Most of the tunes lope along at a steady pace with banjo, guitar, and fiddle keeping a steady and light groove. The songs are tales in the Irish tradition, which became the Appalachian tradition as well, as both sides of the cultural divide come together. Many of the cuts are on the folky side showcasing Louise’s vocals, including cuts such as “Old Wars,” “Grand Hotel,” “Springtime,” and “Souvenirs.” Other highlights include the waltz “Now You’re Gone,” two hoedowns “Don’t You Cry My Honey” and “Bread And Butter,” and a good old-fashioned sea shanty in “The Captain.” (www.idrawslow.wordpress.com)DH