on 4 February 2008
"Sundirtwater" is the fifth album from The Waifs, a folk-rock band from Western Australia. Their resume is fairly impressive, with their double-platinum fourth album "Up All Night", and a tour with Bob Dylan both in Australia and North America. "Sundirtwater" is a fine addition to their discography as well, with a title track which has a jazzy groove which is as addictive as anything I have heard recently. There are also a dozen other tracks which may not have the same initial draw as "Sundirtwater", but all of which hold their own with repeated listening.
This is not a group trying to repeat their past successes, but one which is exploring their musical limits. Undoubtedly they will not shed the "Folk-Rock" label with this album, but the styles go far beyond that. It is by no means perfection, but it is a diverse collection which needs to be heard, warts and all. There is something to hear in each track, whether it is the story telling folk-rock of "Vermillion", the driving rock sound of "Sad Sailor Song", or the country sound of "Eternity", or the jazzy "Sundirtwater", or any of the tracks which stylistically fall somewhere in between.
The Waifs are Joshua Cunningham (vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, ukulele); Donna Simpson (vocals, acoustic guitar, percussion); Vikki Thom (vocals, harmonica, acoustic guitar); and with Ben Franz (electric & double bass); David Ross Macdonald (drums & percussion). Also on the album are Reese Wynans (hammond b3, piano, wurlitzer); Dan Dugmore (pedal steel, lap steel); Jeff Coffin (clarinet); Scat Springs(background vocals on tracks 2 & 9); Erick Jaskowiak (background vocals on track 8); and Garry West (hand claps on tracks 2 & 11).
on 4 February 2009
When I saw the Waifs in Bristol a couple of years back, they were a shadow of the excellent atmosphere that was captured on the 'A Brief History' live CD. Hearing of their various marriages, babies etc, I wondered if their approach to their music would change. I don't know, but I do feel that this CD is not up to the high standards set in 'Up All Night', their last studio CD. There are high spots to the CD, but also too many not-so-good spots. I'm accustomed to the waifs delivering throughout. People have to change - Kate Rusby has stayed the same for too long - and change can put some fans off. I'll just have to hope that the next release veers back towards those earlier days.
on 10 August 2014
Excellent album. The third waifs album I have bought, I love the way there music is going. This has some great tracks on it, stand out for me are (pony, sundirtwater and get me some). Buy it, enjoy it and share with others.