BTV092 Wovenhand : The Threshingfloor LP

The Threshingfloor (btv092)
Buy Online | gatefold LP
Track listing:
A Side
1. Sinking Hands
2. The Threshingfloor
3. A Holy Measure
4. Raise Her Hands
5. His Rest
6. Singing Grass
B Side
7. Behind Your Breath
8. Truth
9. Terre Haute
10. Orchard Gate
11. Wheatstraw
12. Denver City
The Threshingfloor lies at the foot of a mountain in the American West. It’s American Indian country: chiseled by canyons, where everything is magnificent and arresting and echoes unmistakably with whispers of the supernatural. In Wovenhand’s sixth full-length album, soundscape mimics landscape, towering and jagged like high peaks, enveloping like the star-studded dome of the sky. We are acutely aware of our own smallness, as our senses are accosted by something otherworldly.

The Threshingfloor is distinctively marked by the place where it was made, but David Eugene Edwards also gathers threads from other places both mythical and familiar; faraway places, well beyond the borders of his home state. The result is a stunning album that embroiders strands of Eastern and Balkan influences into the fabric of American folk music. As a child, Edwards would dig through records at the public library for these treasures first, Appalachian folk, later, music from all over the world. Now, he travels. Sounds from the band’s recent tours in Serbia, Croatia, Macedonia and Turkey weave through the record with the unmistakable voices of the Hungarian shepherd’s flute, the Greek oud, the Turkish saz. Lilts of Hungarian and Romany pepper the album, subtle imprints from both the Hungarian folk band that Wovenhand performs with regularly and the Iranian and Moroccan music that captivated Edwards during the writing of this record. The Threshingfloor connects places as disparate as Mongolia and South Dakota, showing off their richness like desert gems.

The Threshingfloor inspires profound conclusions about our humanity: we are kin to those in the far corners of the world, and our kinship lies in our frailty. “Back to dust, as we have been told / clinging to the sky like smoke,” sings Edwards in opener “Sinking Hands.” His characteristically deep, resonant voice calls out to us to remember our wretchedness. But like a grandiose landscape, Edwards’ writing and the band’s arrangements point to the divine not only as a prowess under which we cower, but as a beauty in which we can rest.