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Woven Hand

Prog Folk

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Woven Hand Blush album cover
3.25 | 5 ratings | 1 reviews | 60% 5 stars

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 2003

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Cripplegate (Standing On Glass) (3:43)
2. Animalitos (Ain't No Sunshine)/White Bird (21:23)
3. My Russia (Standing On The Hands) (6:51)
4. The Way (3:01)
5. Aeolian Harp (Underworld) (6:08)
6. Your Russia (Dance Without Hands) (7:05)
7. Another White Bird (9:21)
8. Story And Pictures (6:41)

Total time: 64:13

Line-up / Musicians

- David Eugene Edwards / vocals, banjola, mandolin, guitar

Releases information

CD GRCD 577 - Glitterhouse Records 2003 (Germany)
(mail-order only)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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WOVEN HAND Blush ratings distribution

(5 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(60%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(0%)
Good, but non-essential (40%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

WOVEN HAND Blush reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ClemofNazareth
3 stars This version of David Eugene Edwards’ ‘Blush’ is only available by mail order, unlike the ‘Blush Music’ studio release that actually predates it. And this wasn’t really a calculated solo release for Edwards like Woven Hand’s first album; instead, Edwards basically recorded it under commission of choreographer Wim Vandekeybus as the live soundtrack tof a project for his dance troupe Ultima Vez. Vandekeybus was referred to Edwards by dEUS guitarist Tom Barman after dEUS and Edwards’ former band 16 Horsepower had taken turns opening for each other on European tours in 2001. The ‘Blush Music’ CD was then mixed at Studio Absinthe in Edwards’ home town of Denver by his former 16 Horsepower bandmate Robert Ferbrache and released under joint credit of Woven hand and Ultima Vez a few months after the ‘Blush Music’ CD came out in Germany. So much for the historic details.

According to Edwards the lyrical themes of the album are roughly based on the ancient Greek myth of Oedipus and Dionysus, while Vandekeybus is a bit more vague about the actual meaning of the choreography that it was meant to accompany. Either way the point of most of the lyrics is hard to follow, much like the dance production reportedly was.

Despite the rollicking banjola opening of “Cripplegate (Standing on Glass)”, Edwards has moved away from his Godabilly roots on this album and ends up sounding a bit closer to post-rock mood of bands of the A Silver Mt. Zion variety, but with considerably less classical string accompaniment. In fact, the bulk of the instrumentation consists of the already-mentioned banjola, a mandolin, acoustic and some electric guitar, and various mood and drone sound effects.

This album is also much more focused on instrumentals and less on the somber religious themes of his other studio releases. In fact “Cripplegate”, “The Way” and “Another White Bird” are all instrumentals, while the remaining tracks feature only sparse vocals. The compositions are a combination of new material, embellished reworks of previous Woven Hand tunes, and a lengthy treatment of the Bill Withers classic “Ain’t no Sunshine”. That song appeared in short form on his debut release and appears to be turning into something of a signature song for him. In fact, “Animalitos (Ain't no Sunshine)/White Bird” covers more than twenty minutes consisting of the Withers cover morphed into the “White Bird” instrumental, which sounds a bit like a psyched-up spaghetti western soundtrack. “Another White Bird” is an alternative mix that is particularly heavy on bass and drums.

“My Russia” is another rework from the self-titled Woven Hand debut. This version is a lengthy, drawn-out affair with lots of electric guitar, percussion, mumbled background voices, drone and sound effects that sound an awful lot like an Explosions in the Sky song. Toward the end of the album comes “Your Russia (Dance without Arms)” with the same basic guitar riff but heavier on vocals and clearly meant to be dark mood music for the Ultima Vez production.

“The Way” is a laid-back interlude instrumental piece that breaks up the dirge-like mood of “My Russia” and the following “Aeolian Harp (Underworld)”, the latter which could have been an outtake for the Dire Straits ‘Love Over Gold’ album were it not for Edwards almost apocalyptic, cryptic lyrics and the brooding pump organ. He even manages a darn good (though probably unintentional) imitation of Mark Knopfler.

Finally “Stories and Pictures” closes the album, and is another reworking of a tune from the debut Woven Hand album. This one is more ethereal than the original, although the vocal tracks actually sound like they were lifted from the first album (which I guess would technically make this a remix if one felt like splitting hairs).

This album makes Edwards and Woven Hand even more difficult to classify, although I’m not all that interested in doing so anyway. But considering this is a commissioned work, I don’t suppose it’s fair to try and pigeonhole the artist based on the contents.

In any case, this album doesn’t grab me quite the way the one before and the one after it do. But it is great mood music, and the blend of post-rock, folk, dance, and even neo-prog sounds make this a real treat to contemplate on a dreary winter afternoon. And considering it is winter in much of the world right now, that statement should probably be taken as a recommendation. Three stars, not quite four, but recommended to prog fans who appreciate stuff like the quieter Opeth albums, Green Carnation’s acoustic work, and the moodier recordings that Porcupine Tree have done (which probably means all of them). If those are in your collection then this one probably should be too.


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