Southern Roots Rock from the Kings of the North
Wooden Eye - Corduroy Road
No Depression 5/16/2016 by Redlornie1974
The Seacoast of New England may seem like an unlikely hotbed for Americana and roots music but if that is what you are thinking, you would be completely wrong! The roots music scene in New England is alive and well and Wooden Eye have been one of the standard bearers, having developed a loyal fan base and releasing 2 critically acclaimed albums. Storytelling has always been at the heart of the Wooden Eye experience and the songs on the latest release "Corduroy Road’ are no exception, each song appearing almost like movie reels in the head of the listener. With ‘Night Drop’ the listener can visualize the low flying planes in the dead of night as an illicit drug run takes place and with ‘Ralphy’ the listener is given a strong image of a grown man whose “mind left him standing on the 7 year line”. Wooden Eye are also extremely gifted in the area of song interpretation. They possess that unique ability to take a familiar song, break it down into its constituent parts and rebuild it into something completely new. They do this to great effect with a beautiful interpretation of John Hiatt’s ‘Train to Birmingham’. The members of Wooden Eye have a long musical pedigree and embrace a melting pot of musical styles. There can be no doubt that each is very firmly at the top of their game on this record. Guitarist Bob Halperin sweeps effortlessly from classic blues licks to Birds inspired jangly twang. Mike “Bullfrog” Rogers digs deep into the delta blues tradition with his rootsy harmonica playing. Dan MacLellan keeps a constant driving beat on the bass and the 'iron first in a velvet glove' of drummer Joe Rogers pulls the ensemble together brilliantly. For those of us who have been part of the Wooden Eye journey for a long time, this is the record where it all comes together. On "Corduroy Road", the band have demonstrated a real growth in writing, musicality, interpretation and production. The result is far greater than the sum of its parts. Synergy in action.