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Deep Dark Woods bring folk music back onto scene

THE world of folk music lost one of its most colossal figures this week with the passing of Pete Seeger at the age of 94. He was an influence on Peter, Paul and Mary, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Don McLean and Bruce Springsteen (whose recording of The Seeger Sessions acted as a spur for his renewed bout of creativity at the turn of the last decade) to name but a handful, while his musical footprints are all over the soundtrack for the latest Coen brothers' film Inside Llewyn Davis.

In that film the title character sings a version of Seeger's Hang Me, Oh Hang Me, which also happens to be the title track from the third album by the Deep Dark Woods.

Hailing from Saskatoon in Canada, where the isolation adds an eerie quality to their music, the quintet released their sixth album, Jubilee, last year. Less obviously folky than their previous work, the presence of Jonathan Wilson on production duties brought out a more cinematic quality in the songs, the doyen of the Laurel Canyon scene sprinkling his magic dust over the unsettling Pacing the Room, Picture on My Wall and Red Red Rose, while the opening Miles and Miles sounds redolent of Buffalo Springfield jamming with the Flying Burrito Brothers.

Reports from last year's Rhythm and Roots Festival in Kilkenny were extremely positive, with the harmonies between Ryan Boldt, Chris Mason and Lucas Goetz a standout and guitarist Clayton Linthicum proving to be no slouch.


Even a brief appearance in the film Safe Haven – yet another dreary adaptation of one of Nicholas (The Notebook) Sparks' tearfests – couldn't halt the band's steady progress and with a solid back-catalogue to pluck from and almost a decade of live experience to call upon the Deep Dark Woods are definitely not to be missed. And, yes, one would imagine that the late Mr Seeger will get a namecheck, in fact he'd be proud of them.

The Deep Dark Woods play upstairs in Whelan's on Wednesday

> George Byrne