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WOVEN HAND

Prog Folk • United States


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Woven Hand biography
WOVEN HAND are the creation of David Eugene Edwards, the grandson of a traveling Nazarene preacher from Colorado. Following early stints in punk (RMC - RESTLESS MIDDLE CLASS) and alternative indie (PAVILION STEPS, BLOODFLOWER), Edwards returned to Colorado to form the alt-country group 16 HORSEPOWER.

Amid a period of discord with the band in 2001 Edwards spun off a solo project that would result in the debut release of Woven Hand in 2002 on the German label Glitterhouse. The release includes a brooding, psych-influenced version of the Bill Withers R&B standard "Ain't No Sunshine". The release is followed by a full-length musical score for the dance production 'Blush' in Belgium. Blush is performed by the dance troupe Ultima Vez under direction of Belgian choreographer Wim Vandekeybus. Another Ultima Vez score ('Puur') would be recorded in 2005 and released in 2006.

Edwards embarks on a European tour before and after releasing his third album 'Consider the Birds', which is also his first with full studio accompaniment. Edwards released 'Mosaic' in 2006 on the eve of an American tour supporting the Norwegian indie shoegaze band SERENA MANEESH.

WOVEN HAND blends modern psych tones with alt-country instrumentation and cryptically religious-leaning lyrics to produce a uniquely American modern folk sound. Edwards vocal stylings range from Jim Morrison to Bob Dylan to Gordon Gano (VIOLENT FEMMES). WOVEN HAND deserve a place in ProgArchives for their artistic expression and disregard for traditional approaches to any of the many genres of influence.

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Buy WOVEN HAND Music


Ten StonesTen Stones
Sounds Familyre 2008
Audio CD$9.57
$6.79 (used)
Black of the InkBlack of the Ink
Import
Imports 2012
Audio CD$38.24
$33.75 (used)
BlushBlush
Import
Glitterhouse Records 2003
Audio CD$10.04
$8.65 (used)
Live at RoepanLive at Roepan
Import
Ais 2012
Vinyl$40.43
$43.45 (used)
MosaicMosaic
Import
Glitterhaus 2006
Audio CD$9.73
$7.08 (used)
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WOVEN HAND shows & tickets


  • Woven Hand + Throw Me Off The Bridge at l'Atabal, Biarritz on 1 Oct 2014
  • Woven Hand at La[2], Barcelona on 3 Oct 2014
  • Amplifest 2014 on 4 Oct 2014
  • Woven Hand at FIX, Thessaloniki on 7 Oct 2014
  • Woven Hand + Wovenhand + Moa Bones at Fuzz Club, Tavros on 8 Oct 2014
  • Woven hand on 10 Oct 2014

WOVEN HAND discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

WOVEN HAND top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.48 | 19 ratings
Woven Hand
2002
3.26 | 15 ratings
Blush Music
2002
3.44 | 18 ratings
Consider the Birds
2004
4.01 | 19 ratings
Mosaic
2006
3.13 | 5 ratings
Puur
2006
3.48 | 18 ratings
Ten Stones
2008
3.24 | 13 ratings
The Threshingfloor
2010
3.21 | 5 ratings
Black of the Ink
2011
3.27 | 7 ratings
The Laughing Stalk
2012

WOVEN HAND Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.05 | 2 ratings
Live At Roepaen
2012

WOVEN HAND Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

WOVEN HAND Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.17 | 4 ratings
Blush
2003

WOVEN HAND Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

WOVEN HAND Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Ten Stones by WOVEN HAND album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.48 | 18 ratings

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Ten Stones
Woven Hand Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

2 stars "Ten Stones" finds David Eugene Edwards at his most acerbic and hard rocking, with cuts alternating between unchecked if bleak passion and his more typical morose observation. A far cry from the crafty assemblage of "Mosaic", as an album this comes across as illegitimate and hastily thrown together. In addition, the more pungent exercises seem more than a tad overwrought.

While "Not One Stone" demonstrates that Woven Hand's fitness level is up to the task, "White Knuckle Grip" is a dressed up big old boogie blues number in all the worst ways, and "Kicking Bird" is yet another wholly unsubtle megillah of rants and gashes that, at 2:14, runs about...er..2:14 too long. Even the ostensible showcase opener "The Beautiful Axe" is essentially shrouded in oppressive dread. Now, Woven Hand has always been this way, but somehow they knew how to skirt the boundaries while still respecting musicality, until here.

The album does include several isolated peaks in the form of "Horsetail", the achingly Gothic "Iron Feather", and "Kingdom of Ice", but in this divide and conquer episode, the thrashers win out, so avoid this stoning and try "Mosaic" instead.

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 Live At Roepaen by WOVEN HAND album cover Live, 2012
3.05 | 2 ratings

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Live At Roepaen
Woven Hand Prog Folk

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars First live album of the Woven Hand group, recorded in a Dutch church (not much wonder when you consider DEE's zealotism) in the wake of their then-recent release The Threshingfloor promotion tour. As you'd expect, a sizeable part of the set list is from that album, but surmising few from the previous Ten Stones album (Kingdom Of Ice only) while the earlier three are generally represented by two or three tracks. An extended line-up (that features extra percussionist ? djembe - Loukas Metaxas) takes place in front of the church's altar under some fairly minimal (read simple) lighting scheme. Having seen the band twice before, I'm definitely not optimistic when sticking this release's DVD (borrowed from the library) in my player, because I think that WH's concerts (seen them twice) are somewhat of a bore, not only because the band is quite static, but their repertoire sounds too "samey" and it's pretty hard to tell one song from the other in their studio version, so in concert, this flaw is rather enhanced.

And surely enough, DEE sits down on his stool and will not be moving for most of the concert, apart from the odd bumcheek switcheroo to reach for his second guitar or his mandolin (no banjo in this concert). Only contrabassist Humbert seems less static, and not just when reaching for his acoustic guitar (three or four tracks in the course of the evening). DEE is the only addressing the public, but it's much less than minimal: he will only say two or three words (in Dutch, to show the crowd that he's at least done some kind of effort). The least we can say is that the crowd is not really returning much undue or overwhelming adoration: polite applause with the odd unfollowed whistle, but absolutely no passion or enthusiasm.

Candles and purple curtains don't really help out making this concert anything close to a mass either; it seems that most of DEE's engaged lyrics are mostly lost on an otherwise fairly Anglophile Dutch crowd. As for the setlist proposed, at first sight/listyen, I was happy enough to recognize three tracks from my fave album Mosaic, but unfortunately, they were unfortunately drowned in a sea of sameness. Indeed the set doesn't seem to feature any highlight or major crowd favourites, and worse, except for Humbert and Metaxas, they seem to be going through the motions. I can't reall tell you if the set-closer Whisthling Girl really provoked the crowd to call out for an encore, as the footage cut seems to imply, with the Off The Cut track offered as a afterthought, more than a reward to a passionate public.

So my initial fears were indeed confirmed, because overall this DVD (didn't bother with the Cd, since it's exactly the same concert) proves a fairly boring affair, which is even a tad dismaying, since DEE's voice sounds so engaged and emotional, but WH's music fails to really deliver the gusto and lacks somewhat the guts one could expect from a supposedly so-impassioned composer. Not sure this is the kind of DVd that will prompt inquisitive fans to check WH live, but this writer surely thinks that this film is a fairly reliable witness to the band's general very-average stage presence.

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 The Laughing Stalk by WOVEN HAND album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.27 | 7 ratings

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The Laughing Stalk
Woven Hand Prog Folk

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars As now-usual, WH's albums are fairly noticeable in the mass of new releases, because it (they) has(ve) a fairly unique and well-thought-out artwork (courtesy of guitarist Charlie French), this time a corn plant on a shining yellow-green background, which shows DEE's very pastoral background. His band is still unchanged, with French, Garrison, Linsermeir as the usual acolytes, but bassist Humbert is replaced with Garcia. And indeed, there isn't much to distinguish sonically Laughing Stalk from its predecessors Threshingfloor or Ten Stones, except maybe that the present is generally faster-paced. A first of WH and DEE, this album actually come with the song's lyrics, something that actually dawned on DEE after releasing that anecdotic six-track reworks plus the entire WH lyrics until then. I'm not sure this is a good idea, though, because it was rather convenient not to analyse (and ignore) DEE's usually proselyte and religious-obsessed mumbo-jumbo.

Musically, there isn't much to say that hasn't been said on his previous two albums - and my embarrassing scribbles about them. We're far away from the semi-medieval-sounding tracks of Mosaic (still my fave by far), and still in a slightly folky (at times anyway) alternative rock, but DEE's banjo twiddles are relatively rare on TLS. Indeed, at times, we're facing some Neil Young-like fiery guitar licks (King O King) courtesy of French or the slightly calmer Closer. One of the better track is Maize (obviously the title track in disguise given the album's artwork), a fairly solemn track with some timely piano mixed in.

Not any better or any worse than his previous albums, one might wonder what would be the point to get TLS, when you've heard it all elsewhere in the band's discography. Of course, if you're an unconditional fan, no doubt TLS will be yet another indispensable album, but for me, it's not essential, so I was happy to borrow it from the library. In other words, if you're only going to buy one WH product this year, you might want to check out their Live At Roepaen album.

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 Black of the Ink by WOVEN HAND album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.21 | 5 ratings

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Black of the Ink
Woven Hand Prog Folk

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars This luxury product, presented more like DVD than a CD is mostly WH's lyrics from their six studio albums (not including the two Flemish ballet project soundtracks) compiledin a book called Black Of The Ink, taking the general mould of David Eugene Edwards' best album ever Mosaic. Sooo we got a glossy collection of text (not available in the individual album CDs) all assembled, more or less in a chronological order, but not really legibly separated. This might just come handy, but I can't say it's that worthy of your investment despite the presence of a roughly 25 minutes CD album presenting re- recording of six of his tracks (one per studio album) in a roughmly similar mould than the original. It's not even close to what I'd have chosen for a selection from each album.

Really for fans only, but if you're a Woven Hand fan, this is a "brainer".... You might want to leaf through the booklet to see if it's worth yur while and cash.

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 Ten Stones by WOVEN HAND album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.48 | 18 ratings

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Ten Stones
Woven Hand Prog Folk

Review by colorofmoney91
Prog Reviewer

4 stars For quite some time now, David Eugene Edwards has been pumping out some of this century's most intense country jams with (the now disbanded) 16 Horsepower and his current Christianity-themed dark folk/country rock group Woven Hand, both of which are powerful displays of how Christianity can strengthen the lyrical themes of music rather than hinder it with cheesy Sunday-school fairytale mentality.

The tracks on Ten Stones are all standard 3- to 5-minute tunes, but the sophistication of each individual song arrangement is nothing to scoff at. The verse-chorus- verse songwriting method is mostly eschewed, and Edwards instead opts for complete story-like compositional methods, like listening to little vignettes of religious punishment and sorrow. These songs aren't progressive in the usual stereotyped "epic" composition style, but the compact and dense compositional sophistication is where the progressiveness lies.

Ten Stones is a rugged, dusty sounding album. The standard rock instrumentation is so dirty and gritty, I can almost imagine the band, being parched and distraught, playing in the desert during a weak sandstorm as tumbleweeds and dismembered cacti blow across the landscape while scorpions and snakes burrow into the ground for shelter from what could possibly be an isolated drought as willed by God during a fit of anger against the sinning few. Not just the sound of the instruments themselves, but the passionate power of the players comes through with every strum of the guitar and every hit of a drum. Edwards especially offers up a great performance as always -- he sings with the most passionate, powerful, preachy vocals that sound like he's seriously channeling the upset voice of his lord through inexplicably comprehensible glossolalia. The production also enhances the overall musical experience, adding more of that dusty, dry, summery heat atmosphere.

As with most Woven Hand albums, or any musical project with Eugene Edwards at its helm, each song on this album stands out on its own. One of the most powerful songs on Ten Stones is "Iron Feather", a slow, piano-driven ballad whose sonic painful drama is completely oppressive, with lyrics portraying nothing but imagery of sadness of various sorts, getting the point across that our world is and always has been full of pain and misery. The following track, "White Knuckle Grip", with great contrast, is a groovy and extremely noisy country-blues song where Eugene Edwards preaches nearly spoken-word religious imagery into your brain while a confused accordion melody wobbles around in the periphery. Besides being mostly a country/folk rock album, there are moments that break from this most -- "Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars" is a smooth latin-jazz or bossa nova styled song with Edwards doing what is basically his best Sinatra impression, with beautiful mellotron providing a dramatic backup. The final two tracks are mostly powerful atmospherics, which Edwards has been utilizing since he started this band, and it really makes for a great dramatic exit to a wonderfully dramatic album.

Comparing this album to anything besides previous Woven Hand albums or anything from 16 Horsepower is a bit difficult, as everything by these two projects have a very unique sound. Basically, this is some of the roughest, dirtiest, manliest Christian-themed country/folk rock music with the added benefit of progressive composition that you'll be able to find anywhere, like a country western soundtrack to the impending apocalypse.

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 Consider the Birds by WOVEN HAND album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.44 | 18 ratings

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Consider the Birds
Woven Hand Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

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. Largely gone 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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 Blush Music by WOVEN HAND album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.26 | 15 ratings

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Blush Music
Woven Hand Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

2 stars A disappointing sophomore effort, "Blush Music" retreads several tracks which appeared on the group's debut, likely in the service of the musical in which it was used. In particular, "Animalitos(Aint No Sunshine)" and "My Russia" both were unstoppable in their "original" incarnations, "Your Russia" offers little but more drudgery, and "Story and Pictures" found a better setting on the self titled disk.

The ambiance and sound effects drag on to distraction, which may or may not work with the performance but don't sans visuals. "Cripplegate" is one of the only highlights, thanks to plucked banjola reminding us that David Eugene Edwards is indeed one with his barren surroundings. Elsewhere he channels so much VIOLENT FEMMES and JAPAN that his earthy base is choked by sheets of 80s granular packed powder. "Animalitos adds volume and some worthwhile atmospheres but as it winds down it embarks on a descent into the unmusical depths hitherto unplumbed, but tragically revisited on "Snake Bite" and "Aeolian Harp". This might appeal to fans of wholly unstructured genres but Mr Edwards needn't have gone there.

Perhaps the subtle humanity and warmth in DEE's chill was not needed in the soundtrack because it was nurtured by the dance performance . In and of itself, this "Blush Music" appears as a credible version of the real thing but leaves a bitter taste. Stick with the debut or with some of the better subsequent disks.

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 Woven Hand by WOVEN HAND album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.48 | 19 ratings

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Woven Hand
Woven Hand Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars WOVEN HAND's debut sounds like an alt country group ensnared in the vortex of a Gothic cathedral. It's eerie, macabre, and dangerous music with oddly comforting lyrics to Christian and Atheist alike. All these features may well have been borrowed from the mother ship "16 Horsepower", whom I have yet to hear, so clearly a knowledge of that band is no prerequisite to enjoyment of this offshoot.

The instrumentation is somewhat sparse and skewed to the acoustic, but with colorful and simple keyboard accompaniment. The melodies are rich and foreboding while uplifting, and can be compared to the best of well known and obscure bands like DOORS, JOHNNY CASH, JOY DIVISION, PROMETHEAN, MEN THEY COULDN'T HANG, DEAD CAN DANCE, and even occasionally the more brooding Mike Pinder centric MOODY BLUES ("Your Russia") and the paranoia of early RUPERT HINE ("Wooden Brother"). While the overwhelming mood is morose, "Pale Blue Fever", "Glass Eye", and "Arrow Head" are all relatively uptempo, the latter beginning with a celtic inspired jig of sorts, or at least WOVEN HAND's closest approximation of such.

If there is a flaw here, it might be that the lack of tracks that I consider downright awesome, but, on the flip side, it's all good or better, mostly better. This is soul saving music that connects viscerally to one's intellect. I couldn't pray for more.

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 Mosaic by WOVEN HAND album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.01 | 19 ratings

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Mosaic
Woven Hand Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars I sit at the desk in my study watching the New England snow fall gently, and listen for the umpteenth time to this spellbinding release, which, like the forbidden, holds a delicious attraction against one's better judgement. These comparisons are all the more paradoxical since WOVEN HAND is a brainchild of a fellow with deep middle American Christian roots. Still, while the original flavour of the lyrics is beseeching, the music has more in common with the pagan goth of DEAD CAN DANCE and the suicidal gloom of JOY DIVISION than the shining optimism of popular Christian rock. Among the many wonders of "Mosaic" is how, thanks to David Eugene Edwards' painstakingly sparse visual arrangements and emphasis on melodic development, this is ultimately an uplifting listening experience.

Among the many highlights herein are "Winter Shaker" with a decidedly Native American stamp in the words and the vocalizations, "Swedish Purse" and its mesmerizing organ and banjo, the hypnotic "Whistling Girl", the dirge like "Truly Golden", and the more conventional country instrumental "Bible Bird". Still, the two pinnacles are the transcendent "Dirty Blue", augmented by fiddle and insistent beat, reminiscent of some of the OYSTERBAND's more adventurous work in the late 1990s, and the gorgeous "Deerskin Doll". Edwards' guttural voice complements the sweet melody and the bagpipe like sounds.

Only the atonal missteps of the double tracks "Slota Prow/Full Armor" and "Little Raven/Shun" bring MOSAIC down a half notch or so, almost as if Edwards was testing out a few pan cultural ideas but wasn't sure where to go with them. They might have been more suited to a purely experimental album.

This being my first exposure to WOVEN HAND, I can definitely recommend it as an entry point to the band. A desolate mosaic that offers so much more than cold comfort on this snowy day.

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 Ten Stones by WOVEN HAND album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.48 | 18 ratings

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Ten Stones
Woven Hand Prog Folk

Review by Bonnek
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars My journey with 16HP and Wovenhand ended in 2006 with Mosaic, where I found D.E. Edwards starting to repeat his same old mantra too much. When finding Wovenhand on PA (much to my surprise) I finally checked his more recent albums. Much to my delight!

Right from the opening bars of The Beautiful Axe we hear D.E. Edwards on the edge of his seat, it's a nervous rock song showing an intricate arrangement that immediately reminded me of Popol Vuh's later rock albums (Das Hohelied Salomos and Lätzte Tage Lätzte Nächte). Wovenhand had always been an original and non-conformist indie band, but with the sophisticated rocking approach they take here, the term Prog-Folk doesn't sound all that far-fetched anymore.

The series of haunting rock songs continues till Cohawkin Road where Edwards returns to his known gothic folk balladry. Iron Feather continues the more atmospheric approach. It is on songs like this that Wovenhand resembles early Nick Cave songs like Stranger Then Kindness and The Carny. The second half of the album starts on a lighter and slightly humorous/bizarre tone with the heavy country blues stomp White Knuckle Grip. A morbid cover of Quiet Nights brings us back into Edwards chilling and fear-ridden universe, from which we find no escape for the remainder of the album.

There aren't any off-days in Edwards musical output, but even so this album easily stands out, for its diversity, song quality and of course, its scaring intensity and haunting 'fear of the Lord'. Much recommended as an introduction to the artist.

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