Woven Hand CD review [Sounds Familyre]

Music Reviews
Woven Hand CD review [Sounds Familyre]
Mar 4, 2003, 05:40



David Eugene Edwards, the God-haunted spirit previously found at the reins of Southern Gothic idols Sixteen Horsepower, breaks away from his band with this impressive (and, needless to say, mightily idiosyncratic) solo album. Those familiar with 16HP's banjo-snapping, blackly religious version of weird Americana won't be surprised by either Woven Hand's moody acoustic tunesmithing or Edwards' tendency to string themes of love, sin, damnation and an almost freakishly deep devotion to God into a single web. Where Woven Hand varies from Sixteen Horsepower—besides the fact that Edwards performs most of the instruments himself—is his ability to expand his musical language beyond gothic gospel-rock and trad-folk plundering; although there is much of the drawling Southern acoustica which punctuated 16HP albums, a wider palette of instruments (tarnished organs, flutes, piano, bells, etc.) and a more flexible sense of melody make this a broader, more buoyant experience. Some songs (e.g., “Wooden Brother,” “Arrow Head”) even sound Medieval at times. Missing is the heavy hellfire weight which loaded the best 16HP songs with a sense of impending apocalyptic doom. But, all told, Woven Hand continues the David Eugene Edwards saga well, giving this strange, spiritually tormented pilgrim another voice through which to speak his distinctive mind. [Sounds Familyre]

-J Graham

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