Scheherazade

Scheherazade

by FreakwaterFreakwater

CD

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Overview

Freakwater's messed-up but glorious harmonies have always been the key to their sound, and if they suggested the lost members of the Carter Family far gone on cheap booze on 1995's Feels Like the Third Time, they still sound essentially the same way 21 years down the line, which only points to the bent timelessness of their body of work. 2016's Scheherazade may be the first album in over a decade from Catherine Irwin and Janet Beveridge Bean, but the dour yet perceptive storytelling of their lyrics and the wobbly sincerity of their vocals suggest no more than a few months passed between 2005's Thinking of You and this set. From the grim abuse of "What the People Want" to the homey but troubling visions of "Ghost Song," Freakwater leave no doubt they're still living in the same fallen world that's always been their home, and they evoke a difficult past and a similarly blighted present while facing it all with the quirky grin of a confirmed cynic. Freakwater themselves haven't changed, but Scheherazade does find them working with a different supporting cast; while their previous albums were all cut in Chicago, Scheherazade was recorded in Freakwater's native Louisville, Kentucky, with a team of players that includes Warren Ellis from the Dirty Three, James Elkington from Tweedy and Eleventh Dream Day, and Evan Patterson of Young Widows on guitar, as well as Freakwater's longtime bassist David Wayne Gay. The arrangements have more of a dreamlike lean than the more Appalachian approach of their earlier work, but ultimately the music serves the songs and vocal performances on Scheherazade, and does so beautifully. Scheherazade isn't exactly the Feel Good Album of 2016, but being lost and forsaken with Freakwater is a more satisfying experience than feeling perky with most other acts, and Scheherazade is a brilliant reminder of what Catherine Irwin and Janet Beveridge Bean do so strikingly well.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/05/2016
Label: Bloodshot Records
UPC: 0744302023526
catalogNumber: 235
Rank: 92071

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Freakwater   Primary Artist
Janet Beveridge Bean   Guitar,Vocals,Mandola,Group Member
Warren Ellis   Violin,Alto Flute
Catherine Irwin   Banjo,Guitar,Vocals,Group Member
David Wayne Gay   Bass,Group Member
Evan Patterson   Guitar
James Elkington   Pedal Steel Guitar,Mandola
Sarah Balliet   Cello
Morgan Geer   Electric Guitar,Group Member
Anthony Fossaluzza   Organ,Electric Piano
Jonathan Glen Wood   Electric Guitar,Vocals,Moog Synthesizer
Anna Krippenstaple   Violin,Vocals,Group Member
Neal Argabright   Drums,Pump Organ,Group Member

Technical Credits

Janet Beveridge Bean   Composer
Catherine Irwin   Composer
Kevin Ratterman   Engineer
Morgan Geer   Composer

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