‘Wild & Wicked Youth’ from Kim Lowings and The Greenwood - dynamic, invigorating, different and exceptional(August 22, 2017)
Some albums take time to grow on you. Some never make a connection. This one takes no time at all and the connection is instantaneous. Take any aspect ... voice, instrumentation, arrangements, melodies ... it matters not where you begin or end, the attraction is immediate and lasting. The album is ‘Wild & Wicked Youth’ from Kim Lowings and The Greenwood. The depth of folk tradition is evident, as is a freedom of invention, the result is dynamic, invigorating, different and exceptional.
Kim’s voice comes with a warmth and richness that engages from the first, as throughout each song it holds the story, changing in emphasis and presence to perfectly match message and mood. The appeal is also driven by the way the instruments soar around each other, sparring and dodging, driving the tunes but never too hard ... dulcimers, bouzouki, guitar, double bass, cajon, violins and piano ... and from start to finish there’s a continual flow of memorable hooks.
From the outset the mix of tradition and innovation is addictive, the prophetic folk rock pulse of ’In Spirit’ leads you into the album, it’s followed by a fine take on the multi-versed ‘Oyster Girl’, there’s a splendid percussive version of ‘The Cuckoo’, a totally different take on ‘Bold Reilly’ before they move into another many-versioned and familiar murder ballad given a singular feel, ‘Oh The Wind and The Rain’. There are other ‘stand-outs’ on ‘Wild & Wicked Youth’, the cautionary and eminently listenable ‘The Tortoise and The Hare’, the sparkling ‘Wyle Cop and The Wonderful Mr. Clark’ and another slice of inventive tradition with ‘The Newry Highwayman’.
Kim Lowings and The Greenwood are: Kim Lowings (vocals, Appalachian dulcimer, stick dulcimer, piano) Andrew 'Jarv' Lowings (guitar, bouzouki, bodhran, backing vocals) Dave Sutherland (double bass, backing vocals, guitar) and Tim Rogers (cajon, percussion, drum kit) with guest musicians on selected tracks Lewis Jones (melodeon) Shannon Johnson (violin) and Ami Oprenova (violin)
Review: Tim Carroll