By Simon for Beat Surrender
Ruth Moody’s previous solo album The Garden was a delight and she’s back with another winner with These Wilder Things, the albums is officially released in the UK on June 10th on True North Records, the multi-instrumentalist Australian born founder member of The Wailin’ Jenny’s who’s now based in Canada has gathered together a whole bunch of class acts to play and sing the album, alongside her touring band, Adam Dobres (guitar), Adrian Dolan (fiddle, mandolin, accordion) and Sam Howard (upright bass) there are contributions from fellow Jennys Nicky Mehta and Heather Masse, Crooked Still’s Aoife O’Donovan, Mike McGoldrick and John McCusker, her brother Richard (viola) and special guest appearances by Jerry Douglas and Mark Knopfler who Ruth is supporting on his six night stint at the Royal Albert Hall at the end of this month.
Here’s opening track Trouble & Woe from the album, this is one my favourites and highlights the effortless beauty of Ruth’s vocals and is more than a match for Alison Krauss.
Track two is a top-tune too and another album highlight and an unofficial Jennys song as Ruth is joined on The One and Only by fellow band members Nicky Mehta and Heather Masse who harmonise wonderfully, having not read the PR one-sheet before listening to the album for the first time track three caught me a little of guard – it’s the only track that wasn’t written by Ruth and is a lovely re-work of Springsteen’s classic 80′s rocker Dancing in the Dark, here it is as recorded for Folkway Music.
Title track These Wilder Things follows and is a wonderfully melancholic tune made all the more endearing by Ruth’s plaintive piano playing that echo’s the aching vocal and some subtle brass – wonderful production on this one, though I’d envisage it working equally well in a live setting with just vocal and keys, I’d respectively suggest Mr Knopfler gets an old Joanna under a single spotlight and let’s Ruth open the Royal Albert Hall shows playing the track, on the subject of Mark Knopfler he makes his special guest appearance on the album on track six playing guitar and adding vocals to the closing passage of the song.
The piano also takes the lead on the track seven Make A Change that also uses a little dash of pedal steel as embellishment to create the mood for the song, special guest Jerry Douglas is next up with a helping of his wonderful Dobro sound on the eighth track One Shining Light, the penultimate track is has the Celtic connection featuring Mike McGoldrick (low whistle) and John McCusker (fiddle), the album closer appears a lament to the life of a touring musician, though it shares it’s DNA with Ruth’s last solo album and her work with The Wailin’ Jennys this recording has a wider musical vista and is all the better for it, highly recommended.