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The Steel Woods (from the album On Your Time available on Woods Music/Thirty Tigers) (by Lee Zimmerman)
A concept album of sorts, On Your Time marks a new direction for The Steel Woods, a Nashville-based band whose southern sensibility often finds them digging deep into the firmament of both grit and groove. Ostensibly based on a character called Uncle Lloyd, it follows the unfortunate trajectory of a neer-do-well, a man who can’t overcome his vices in order to set himself straight.
The songs that detail Lloyd’s journey relay a mix of angst and desperation, but ultimately end with optimism and determination to persevere despite the various obstacles that befall him. The character, first introduced on the band’s debut album, 2017’s Straw in the Wind, is clearly ready to come to grips with his situation, although it’s not entirely clear that he’s capable of doing so. Throughout the album’s sequence of songs — “The Man From Everywhere”, “Cut the Grass”, “Famine Fortune”, and “Stories To Tell To Myself” among them — the music comes across within a mostly tattered pastiche, all stoic yet weary rambles that leave little room for an upbeat outcome. Nevertheless, by the time the album reaches its inevitable end, courtesy of the seemingly resolute “Broken Down Dam” and the decidedly defiant “If Not for the Rain”, there appears to be some glimmer of light shining just beyond the horizon.
‘If it weren’t for the rain, I wouldn’t notice the blue sky/ if not for the sunshine, I wouldn’t care for the shade’ the narrator insists on the latter, suggesting that even the worst circumstance can offer opportunity to appreciate the things that are ultimately worthwhile.
That said, the music that relays those sentiments conveys a rugged and gritty mindset, all shared with undeterred determination. It’s a slow burn, a sound that’s restless with resolve, a dire indication of what might befall those that find themselves on the less fortunate side of life’s darker divide. Both captivating and compelling, The Steel Woods add a certain urgency to the anguish. (by Lee Zimmerman)
Listen and buy the music of The Steel Woods from AMAZON
For more information, please visit The Steel Woods website
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