The Deep Dark Woods is Ryan Boldt (guitar), Burke Barlow (guitar), Chris Mason (bass), and Lucas Goetz (drums), with all four sharing songwriting and vocal duties. Winter Hours is their sophomore release on the Black Hen Music label and was recorded and produced in Vancouver at The Factory by Steve Dawson. The album most certainly surpasses the excellent Hang Me, Oh Hang Me, which happened to win the award for Best Roots Album at the Western Canadian Music Awards.
When I wrote about The Deep Dark Woods’ first album I described it as a Sunday morning cd, but I think I was mistaken. Their sound is a little bigger than that. It’s more of an all-encompassing sound of winter, which is a season any band from Canada is probably very familiar with. It’s the perfect cd for a cold day where everyone is crowded in the kitchen while a pot-roast cooks slowly in a dutch oven. Do you get my drift? It’s a real mood album in the sense that it sets one, not that you need to be in the proper one to listen to it. One night while it was playing I said to my wife, “I love the fact that this album can be so somber and melancholy without being depressing.”
Another thing I like about this album is the fact that it has a timeless sound. What I mean by that is that you can’t listen to it and immediately identify what decade it comes from. Music like that has a tendency to have more staying power than those with “flavor of the month” stylings. Like great food, one needs not attempt to refine a dish when just cooking it perfectly will be good enough.