Tall tales and true…….it has been nearly 8 years since Moses Wiggins released their first album for Brambus Records. "Box of Tricks" showed the band to be developing a songwriting style that nurtured pop/rock sensibilities while keeping their collective feet firmly in the folk-rock camp. Now, as their sound moves in a more-focused folk-roots direction, they turn to the master-songwriter himself, Bob Dylan, with an album that covers some of his finest works and some of his more obscure titles.
The origins of this album can in fact be traced back to their debut "Box Of Tricks" which contained a busked-version of "When Did You Leave Heaven" which Dylan himself had covered on his 1988 album "Down In The Groove". Earlier (non-album) recordings had also included playful workings of "Baby Let Me Follow You Down" (another Dylan cover) and "Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door" which had both been released on the compilation album "Route 66: Musical Journeys Through America’s Heartland" under cover of singer Nick John and guitarist Keith Thompson’s pick-up band, The Deadweights.
The spark that really lit the flame however was the inclusion of two Moses Wiggins tracks on the 2001 Delta Records’ compilation "Forever Young" which found the band alongside such luminaries as Fairport Convention, Show Of Hands, Magna Carta and The Albion Band, in British folk’s tribute to the great man. Both of those tracks, "Sweetheart Like You" and "Like A Rolling Stone", can now be found on "Troubadour".
As Nick John says, this is not particularly a tribute album as such, more an affectionate take on some great songs, taken from a body of work second to none in the history of popular music. What this album does do is to present those songs in a rich and varied way, from the folk-blues simplicity of cuts like "Pretty Peggy-O" to the straight-forward rock of "Groom’s Still Waiting At The Altar" or "Tweeter And The Monkey Man" (get out your Travelling Wilburys albums!), compelling ballads like "If You See Her, Say Hello" to the relatively-unknown "Time Passes Slowly".
The band are joined by some great Guest Artists Phil Beer from Show Of Hands plays on a full five numbers, bringing his own particular musical magic to the album with his guitar and mandolin and some truly superb fiddle-playing. Singer Gwyneth Keen from up-and-coming folk band Celtish duets with Nick on the wonderful "You’re A Big Girl Now" and takes leads for "Time Passes Slowly". Paul Downes delivers a skilful and individual take on "Girl From The North Country" (on one of the album’s undoubted highlights), while renowned English Celtic Harp player Claire Hamilton adds a lovely touch to the album’s final track. In truth, Moses Wiggins is in itself more a "musical collective" the initial nucleus of the band being supplemented by a diverse group of supporting friends and accompanists, some sixteen musicians appearing on the album in all!
It may not take another 8 years for Moses Wiggins to return to their own sound and songs (don’t rush it guys!) but this album is no "holding exercise", no filler or stop-gap. It is more than anything a "thank-you" to the master himself, loving and heartfelt in its honesty. Tall tales and true indeed…..
"The resonance of the poetic artistry of Bob Dylan continues to this day, even as he travels through his sixth decade. A lyric from "You’re A Big Girl Now" states "love is so simple, to quote a phrase" and quoting phrases from Dylan’s past was one of the joys of recording this album. Each song brought new insights into his methods of working, new takes on familiar lyrics, new ways to try and express his music. His writing is peerless, his use of language extraordinary, this album was truly a labour of love….hope you enjoy it" NICK JOHN APRIL 2004
Englische Pop-Rock-Band im Stile der 60er-Jahre, erinnern etwas an Steely Dan, entfernt an frühe Beatles. Süffige Kompositionen und Arragements, sanfter Rock mit zugänglichen Melodien - für jeden Geschmack geeignet, zeitlos.
British pop-rock in the tradition of the 60's, a bit of influences of Steely Dan, a bit of early Beatles, soft rock with earsticking melodies, timeless and for every taste. Combining the 60's-rock with typical british folk-rock.