Wooden Horse – This Kind Of Trouble – www.woodenhorsemusic.co.uk
From the opening note, until the closing chord this is an album that is lively, bright puts a smile on your face and you know you are in for a good time musically and emotionally as shown with the opening track ‘A Big Deal’, not that every track is happy-clappy some are mournful, some are driven others reflective. Wooden Horse produce a full sound that is alive with energy and each note vocal immerses you so that the song becomes the moment. The band refuses to be incarcerated into a genre box but like a weaver of the finest cloth they take the best of the blues, folk, country, Americana, Gospel and then blend and meld the tunes to fit the lyrics like a glove producing a sound straight out of Worcestershire via the world. The whole album is accomplished with its mix of re-arranged covers and self-penned numbers, what they have produced is their live-sound and energy in a studio album this is their own authentic sound.
This is not a one-dimensional album and every track has been chosen with care and included for a reason, thus the talented stomp, vocal guitar playing skills of Jamie Knight, and Ben Church’s awesome guitar skills, whether lap, slide or finger picking, shine across the tracks and the weft in this weave is the charismatic piano sound that Stu McIlroy produces. The album is full of clever harmonies and deft interventions never tedious as the music drives the lyrics on to a finishing point.
The three covers meld into the background for me, they are delightfully re-arranged and they do give a handle with which people can judge their talents when they hear songs they instantly recognise and they represent different styles and the rendition of ‘Sittin’ On Top of The World’ is really pleasing. These covers fix the roots of this band with their exciting if eclectic mix of styles employed.
The piano is given the lead in ‘You Ain’t Letting Me Down’ giving Stu the scope to show his talents; a Blues pianist with a real feel of the blues with the guitars and vocals as they add texture and tone. Going back to duet form ‘This Kind of Trouble’ brings a duo of harmonies vocals and guitars bring the gospel sound to the Wooden Horse party! ‘The Walking Rain’ with its slower pace, mournful country twang, is my favourite track as it takes you on a journey that is both gentle and hurtful at the same time as raw emotions are articulated with lines such as “Many times you doubted, many Times you cried, If walking Rain can find you, you will be on the otherside” is this pure hope or despair… –
1. A Big Deal -Knight & Church
2. You ain’t Letting Me Down – Knight & Church
3. Get It Right – Knight & Church
4. All Along – Knight & Church
5. Kind Hearted Woman – Robert Johnson
6. This Kind of Trouble – Knight & Church
7. Crazy Mama – J.J. Cale
8. The Walking Rain – Knight & Church
9. Sittin’ On Top Of The World – Vinson/Chatman
10. Kinda Man – Knight & Church
11. Time I’s Leaving – Knight & Church