You’ve got to love the free spirit of younger singer-songwriters especially when they sound a bit like Tim O’Brien and pull their influences from Celtic and folk sources more so than bluegrass. They do have a grassy feel. It’s just tempered with these other flavors and a dose of irony. Tony Kamel sings and plays guitar. Dominic Fisher plays bass (very well) and sings, and Trevor Smith handles the banjo and mandolin. On “Galveston,” Kamel plays clawhammer banjo and Smith plays mandolin. They are assisted by two of the finest fiddlers out there, Andy Leftwich and Jason Carter.
The songs are all originals and, for the most part, hold up well. Actually, the whole project has a fun vibe to it. All the players are quite good, as the instrumental “Elucidation” demonstrates very well. “Love Gone Wrong” is hard bluegrass and really kicks it, as does “Dancin’ On My Grave” with a fun off chord. Three-quarter-time country ballads were once a mainstay of sitting and drinking kind of songs. Here, they have a fine one in “Torture Of Love,” a sly country song with a wry twist. “The Sea Wall,” full of foreboding, addresses the power of the world we live in and must live with. They know how to use music to extend the meaning of their words.
This is a young band playing for young folks, and they get it right. They burn it instrumentally and are having a ball playing their music. It will be fun to watch them grow and season if they stick to it. It would be even more fun to catch them live somewhere. (www.woodandwireband.com)RCB