The Deep Dark Woods sound seems to come from its namesake â€“ a special place where few venture to travel. In their most recent release, The Place I Left Behind, once again we find ourselves in a land the band has crafted through haunting ballads. The songs sound as if they were whispered in a dark, cold, winter landscape.
As someone who calls Appalachia home, these stories seem so familiar, yet the stringed sound of my home travels across a country border from rural Saskatchewan. I couldnâ€™t help but be attracted to â€œVirginia,â€ a song that showcases the timeless story of a woman who keeps leaving and coming back, told through the warm cries of a pedal steel, organ and fiddle.
The albumâ€™s title track features some fantastic finger-picking by Ryan Boldt, who wrote this song in the shed of his parentâ€™s cabin in Saskatchewan a couple years back.Â Based around the old folk tune â€œThe Girl I Left Behind,â€ Boldt took the opportunity to pen his own ode to the place he obviously treasures so much.
The folk, alt-country, Americana scene of today is a mishmash soup of a million bands trying to create their own sound, yet for my money no one is more successful in distancing themselves than the Deep Dark Woods. The bandâ€™s fourth album has this timeless quality that like the band themselves, seems to avoid the pitfalls of a musical trend that threatens much of the mountain music I cherish so much.
The Place I Left Behind is now available from Sugar Hill Records.