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Woven Hand

Prog Folk

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Woven Hand Consider the Birds album cover
3.45 | 20 ratings | 4 reviews | 35% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2004

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Sparrow Falls (4:45)
2. Bleary Eyed Duty (4:29)
3. To Make a Ring (4:33)
4. Off the Cuff (3:31)
5. Chest of Drawers (3:53)
6. Oil on Panel (5:36)
7. The Speaking Hands (4:00)
8. Down in Yon Forest (3:08)
9. Tin Finger (3:54)
10. Into the Piano (3:38)

Total time: 42:27

Line-up / Musicians

- David Eugene Edwards / vocals, guitar, percussion
- Ordy Garrison / drums
- Daniel McMahon / piano
- Shane Trost / bass

Releases information

CD GRCD 612 - Glitterhouse Records 2004 (Germany)
CD SF 14 - Soundsfamilyre 2004 (USA)
LP BTV 062 - Burnt Toast Vinyl 2004 (USA)

Thanks to ClemofNazareth for the addition
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WOVEN HAND Consider the Birds ratings distribution

(20 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(35%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(55%)
Good, but non-essential (5%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

WOVEN HAND Consider the Birds reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ClemofNazareth
4 stars On the eve of his now-former band 16 Horsepower’s breakup, David Eugene Edwards released his third studio album under the name Woven Hand and embarked on a European tour. This album is quite a bit closer to Woven Hand’s debut – stark, foreboding music with poetic lyrics that seem to preach without actually condemning.

Edwards appears to have largely abandoned his banjola and mandolin for acoustic (and sometimes electric) guitar; and has also enlisted the help of some of his occasional live act accompaniment. Slim Cessna's Auto Club drummer Ordy Garrison and bassist Shane Trost, and Lilium keyboardist Daniel McMahon fill out the lineup, and Garrison would accompany Edwards on the supporting European tour over the winter of 2004.

The key traits of Woven Hand’s first album are all here again: brooding lyrics that matter-of-factly point to the Cross while at the same time wallow in the barrenness that is Edwards’ view of humanity; heavy bass and plodding drums; and strategically placed drone, piano and sound effects.

A few of these tracks have apparently become staples in the act’s play list: “Bleary Eyed Duty”, “The Speaking Hands” and “To Make a Ring” are liberally sprinkled across the internet in the form of live choppy videos destined for youTube.

Edwards manages to elicit the same sense of barely-controlled sanity akin to David Bowie circa ‘Low’ or ‘Scary Monsters’ on tracks like “Bleary Eyed Duty” and “Oil on Panel”, while others like “”Off the Cuff” and “”Into the Piano” are barely perceptible works that teeter on the edge of despair with confusing lyrics that either point the lost to the Savior or lament the hopelessness of The Struggle, depending on your perspective.

“Tin Finger” is the closest the group comes to the hillbilly folk sound of the last couple of 16 Horsepower albums and the Woven Hand debut, with Edwards picking away on his banjola and whispering, unintelligible voices evoking the mood of the Garden of Gethsemane scene from ‘The Passion of the Christ’. Creepy stuff.

I haven’t quite come to a position on my feelings for Edwards’ lyrical messages and their relevance to his listeners, but the raw emotions induced by his music is rich fodder for contemplation regardless. The novelty of his sound has somewhat worn off by this third album, but Edwards manages to introduce new sounds that seem inspired by Eastern European folk solemnity and any number of road-weary post rockers. This is an excellent album for the most part, although I would have enjoyed a little more eclectic use of instrumentation like Woven Hand’s first album featured. No matter, I’ll go with four stars for ‘Consider the Birds’ and recommend this music to just about any prog or folk music fan.


Review by Sean Trane
2 stars 2.5 stars really!!

Third studio album from this side project of 16 HP, but by now most likely DEE's main occupation, and this one seems to be more in the mould of the debut album, rather than the "special project" of Blush Music. By this time, 16 HP was history or almost and clearly DEE was saving his best for this "offshoot" project. In some ways, this album is more of a full group effort of sorts, as three of the eight tracks would indicate, while the other half sees DEE playing most of the instruments himself. I'd like to take the readers back to the first paragraphs of my review of WH's Blush Music, to clear some possible confusion between the terms of folk and country.

The album starts strongly enough with two group efforts, the enthralling (almost enthusiasting) Sparrow Falls and the much sombre Bleary Eyed Duty and later on Speaking Hands are probably the centrepieces on which the album was built, but neither are very representative of the album. To Make A Ring introduces drones-a-go-go and a violin and bathes into a slightly mid-Eastern ambiance, while Oil On Panel manages a rather positive atmosphere (at least musically), but that's about it in terms of quality as the rest of the albums basks and stews in its own putrefaction, fed by DEE's insane and insalubrious religious molasses, that should better be kept quiet, rather than sprawled over a disc.

Off the Cuff is a rather difficult and disjointed no-sense track to "get" and is probably bringing its share of critics on the album as a whole, due to its central positioning in the track list. The following Chest Of Drawers basks in its insignificance and fails to produce the slightest hint of interest, while Tin Forest sounds like just another Banjo tune, something that he's done better on other albums. The album ends on the eerie but thankfully short Into The Piano, which is almost unbearable in its despair, but doesn't come close to Rock Bottom in terms of credibility.

Consider the Birds is certainly not Woven Hand's better album, actually it seems like a very confused affair, caught between the debut album (not supposed to be a multi-album project) and the post rock tricks and deeds picked up on Blush Music, but fails to capitalize on it the way the following album Mosaic will. In defence of this album, one might say that this might be a more personal album, but I think that every album of DEE is incredibly personal, and this one not any more than others, just a much lesser one. Your call, but I'll pass on it.

Review by Bonnek
4 stars Wovenhand's third album finds Dave Eugene Edwards in his finest form since he did the 16 Horsepower masterpiece Secret South. Also Wovenhand hangs about in dark and gloomy places, creating a gothic kind of folk full of haunted angst and frightening religious devotion.

The album starts quite energetic with the lively acoustic guitar strumming of Sparrow Falls. Layered harmonic vocals, slide guitars and piano add to a thick dark atmosphere. Things slow down from here on. Bleary Eyed Duty has a sparse instrumentation consisting of piano, soft percussion and chorused bass guitar. It sounds a bit like a gothic version of Morphine this one. To Make A Ring makes for a first highlight. It's a typically glum Edwards epic that may appeal greatly to Nick Cave fans. From Her To Eternity anyone?

Off The Cuff is the most folky tune thus far. The vocals are slightly distorted and create some kind of industrial feel, while Chest of Drawers wouldn't be out of place on a Leonard Cohen album. The spine-chilling highpoint of the album is Oil On Panel, so seemingly calm but full of holy fire, wonderful how this builds up to the sweeping chorus. Edwards is a man of emotional intensity and he sure doesn't disappoint here.

Also The Speaking Hands maintains the strong focus of this album. Down In Yon Forest is a welcome folksy ditty that lightens up the mood a bit while Edwards sings "I Love my lord Jesus above anything." Luckily the lyrics are very poetic, with a disturbing kind of twist, preventing them from sounding preachy or pedantic. Tin Finger and the fantastic Into The Piano end the album on a high note.

This is not Prog, it's not proggy and neither is it progressive. I thought I might clarify that for you in case it matters. Yet it's fantastic, intense and original. The persistent gloomy mood might make you yearn for fresh air when this album is over, and that is exactly the whole idea of it. Great release from Mr Edwards.

Review by kenethlevine
3 stars From the opening notes of the surprisingly direct "Sparrow Falls", it is clear that David Eugene Edwards has largely placed the missteps of "Blush Music" in the past. Banished are the ambient textures and sound effects, and the result is a more consistent effort in the underrepresented realm of progressive American folk.

Particularly notable are the simply effective keyboard lines in said opener, the plaintive "Oil on Panel", and the ominous "The Speaking Hands". Edwards' voice has never sounded more emotive and it looks good on him, but rest assured this is still largely shrouded in cathartic tristesse. "Down in Yon Forest" is an exception that veers into trad British Isles territory and works surprisingly well. "Chest of Drawers" is a largely acoustic ballad that sounds like it was recorded under a desert moon, with sparse inventive percussion and a simply appealing melody and lyrics. Unfortunately, the processed voices and sounds of "Off the Cuff" and the grating earnestness of "To Make a Ring" represent another facet that remains an impediment to consistent enjoyment.

"Consider the Birds", like spring migration, is a pleasure in itself but is even more noteworthy for what it portends.

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