Monday, January 22, 2007

The Woes...

I can't believe that it was nearly three years ago that I wrote about The Woes and their fantastic EP Coalmine for Stylus Magazine. Since that time it seems that Osei Essed and company have been busy refining their banjo laced delta blues brand of soul. It's a magical music and as odd as that reference sounds I really believe it to be true. The magic lies in Essed's voice. There are plenty of other singers to draw comparisons to, say Tom Waits or Nick Cave, but ultimately Essed's voice is so unique and so powerful that he owns every song he sings completely. The music of The Woes varies from a slow moving funereal dirge to upbeat boot stompers that sound like a distant cousin to Lightin' Hopkins. The songs are full of banjos, organs, guitars, varieties of percussion, and that expressive baritone of a voice. The Woes are completely outside of what I tend to listen to and also exactly what I love, that's magic.

Go to The Woes My Space Page and listen to the songs there, if you're not moved to some degree you're dead. Stone cold grey, know wha' I'm sayin'? I find the music that Essed and The Woes produces to be unclassifiable, a unique listening treasure that both lives within and transcends their influences. This hyperbole is over the top even for me, but it's special and that's in short supply these days.

1 song from The Woes 2006 That Coke Oven March:

The Best Is Yet To Come


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