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WOVEN HAND

Prog Folk • United States


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Woven Hand picture
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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WovenhandWovenhand
Soundsfamilyre 2003
$9.49
$8.96 (used)
MosaicMosaic
Soundsfamilyre 2006
$9.49
$7.49 (used)
Ten StonesTen Stones
Soundsfamilyre 2008
$13.02
$5.38 (used)
Live at RoepanLive at Roepan
Ais 2012
$23.13
$126.00 (used)
Star TreatmentStar Treatment
GLITT 2016
$12.98
$12.12 (used)
Black of the Ink (CD + Book)Black of the Ink (CD + Book)
Glitter Ro 2012
$32.90
$30.41 (used)
Threshing FloorThreshing Floor
Glitterhouse 2010
$22.95
$26.24 (used)
Consider The Birds by Woven Hand (2004-10-12)Consider The Birds by Woven Hand (2004-10-12)
Glitterhouse
$49.87 (used)
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WOVEN HAND discography


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

3.55 | 23 ratings
Woven Hand
2002
3.30 | 18 ratings
Blush Music
2002
3.43 | 19 ratings
Consider the Birds
2004
4.04 | 23 ratings
Mosaic
2006
3.13 | 5 ratings
Puur
2006
3.50 | 20 ratings
Ten Stones
2008
3.23 | 15 ratings
The Threshingfloor
2010
2.66 | 6 ratings
Black of the Ink
2011
3.32 | 9 ratings
The Laughing Stalk
2012
4.20 | 6 ratings
Refractory Obdurate
2014

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
 Black of the Ink by WOVEN HAND album cover Studio Album, 2011
2.66 | 6 ratings

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Black of the Ink
Woven Hand Prog Folk

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

2 stars David Eugene Edwards, originally from the band "16 Horsepower" has, up to the release of this book/CD, has released 6 full length albums under the moniker "Woven Hand". This release is not a "proper" album per se, as it is a reimagining of 6 previously released tracks, one track from each of the 6 albums. The CD is more of a collection or an EP. The main draw for this release is the 110-page book that features lyrics from his previous songs and some nice artwork.

As much as I like David's neo-folk music, I can't really consider this anything but a collectable item of interest mostly to fans. The music itself remains pretty much acoustic throughout, with David's unique voice and minimal instrumentation. The songs are good, but nothing special really, and as to why these particular songs were chosen I can't say, because they are not necessarily the best tracks off of the individual albums, and in reality, I like the originals better. I believe this was done to make things feel more personal, and it is almost like a private "unplugged" style concert.

The lyrics deal with the usual things, religious, yet dark, which is one of the unique things of the music of Woven Hand. I think a new listener would not be very appreciative of this release however. You would be better off looking for a different full length album from the band than this one. Only for collectors and fans.

 Woven Hand by WOVEN HAND album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.55 | 23 ratings

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Woven Hand
Woven Hand Prog Folk

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars It's good to see Woven Hand in the prog archives. Nowadays, Woven Hand is a full band, but when this, the debut album was released, it was centered around one person, David Eugene Edwards, who was/is the front man for the alt-country band 16 Horsepower. I always felt that 16 Horsepower was a step above a lot of alt-country bands because they were always a little more daring than most. They ventured in some new territory by introducing gothic and psychedelic elements into their music. Woven Hand was formed because in 2002 when this album was released, 16 Horsepower was experiencing some issues in the band, so David went his own way and made his own album. To me, this has the dark attitude of some of Johnny Cash's darker sounds, but more modern and fuller.

Like I said, it is mostly about him in this album. He is accompanied by Steve Taylor and Daniel McMahon on some of these tracks and this adds a fuller sound to the album overall, but even in the more sparse tracks, there is a lot of inventiveness. Things can sound a little same-y at times on this album, but not enough to make it ever get boring. This is known as neo-folk and it does have progressive elements throughout in that David is not afraid to explore the genre. There is a bit of the gothic element here, carried over from his other band, and it is true that this is dark folk. But there is a lot of spiritual uplift in the lyrics among the dark sounds. It's like a huge spark of hope in the middle of a stark landscape. And it all works so well. Minor keys are used a lot, the vocals are dark sounding, and, except for a few exceptions like the banjo in "Glass Eye" and the piano hooks in the beautiful "Stormy and Pictures", the songs can have a slight drone feeling even though drones are not used. "Arrow Head" has a nice, almost upbeat Celtic-Western lilt but still with that minor key sound. So even with the overall sound, there is still plenty of variety and surprises. Even though it is more of a solo album, it doesn't sound like one.

I love the sound and the attitude on this album and how well it mixes with the folk element. With this band being on the archives, I would not be surprised to see "Fleet Foxes" or "Grizzly Bear" eventually added on the site under Prog Folk, and I have hope that maybe they will show up here some day. Woven Hand is still active and have released several albums since this album. They have incorporated more progressive elements as time goes on and are now a full band. Things get better, but that's definitely not to say that this album isn't great. I still love the starkness, David's voice is perfect for this music, and the clash of the promise of hope against the dark soundscape is very moving and effective. I can't call it essential, that might be reserved for later albums, but I still think this is an excellent album nonetheless.

 Ten Stones by WOVEN HAND album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.50 | 20 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.

 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.

 The Laughing Stalk by WOVEN HAND album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.32 | 9 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.

 Black of the Ink by WOVEN HAND album cover Studio Album, 2011
2.66 | 6 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.

 Ten Stones by WOVEN HAND album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.50 | 20 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.

 Consider the Birds by WOVEN HAND album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.43 | 19 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. 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.

 Blush Music by WOVEN HAND album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.30 | 18 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.

 Woven Hand by WOVEN HAND album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.55 | 23 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.

Thanks to clemofnazareth for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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