One of the unexpected highlights of the recent Moseley Folk Festival was Wooden Horse, a duo from Worcester specialising in the kind of tunes you’d expect to hear on the banks of the Mississippi rather than the River Severn. Their fine debut album, What Comes Around, is out now but for an instant introduction to the band their brand new EP’s the perfect to start. Speaking of perfect starts it kicks off with the jaunty You’re In My Heart, a deceptively simple love song that’s as sweet as cotton candy. One for you lovers out there. Next track, He Was A Friend Of Mine has a more country blues feel, with lead vocalist Jamie’s voice audibly cracking with emotion in places whilst the other half of the partnership, Ben, adds some truly authentic southern sounding harp. It’s a measure of their collective skills that this stuff really sounds like it’s from the US, not always an easy trick to pull off. Fans of Seasick Steve will lap up Mean Old Frisco for instance, it's a steel guitar driven belter that rattles along like a runaway train. Boy, you can almost taste the moonshine this dude’s knocking back to drown his sorrows. Last track, Lonesome River, finds the Horse in more reflective mood (moonshine will do that to you) mulling over the loss of a women. Hell, it happens. Where would Country and Blues be without break ups eh? From love to loss, this EP’s got it covered with top notch playing and some equally fine vocal performances. This is one horse, wooden or otherwise, that’s well worth backing.
Wooden Horse support Joan Armatrading on her tour in October/November and play an intimate gig at the Kings Heath's Kitchen Garden Café on Sunday 18th November.