Reviews and radio play are rolling in for World at Large. We hit number 2 on the earshot Folk and Roots chart for Canadian college and community radio two weeks in a row, snuck onto the US Folj-DJ list this week, and have had a number of spins in the UK in advance of our upcoming tour and festival over there.
“There’s nothing better than seeing a critic who’s choking on a mouthful of his words,” Manitoba’s Dust Poets sing on the song Opening Day. OK, poets, I’m almost gagging, perhaps because there’s too much to say.
I could talk about your ability to slide effortlessly between bluegrass, pop, soul and even mariachi music. Or about your smooth harmonies. Or about your sheer gall of inserting horn lines into acoustic songs.
But it’s enough to talk about the fine songs that anchor this album. Murray D. Evans, the main songwriter, has a fine way with words and telling stories in three or four minutes. The Poets have a reputation for humour, but this effort goes way beyond that, with poignant songs about a ravaged oil boomtown, turning the red braids of a long-departed relative into a wig, and the end of privacy in the digital age—the “skeletons in your inbox.” My favourite is the duet between Evans and keyboard player Karla Ferguson on the whimsical Kiss Away the Afternoon. I think Woody Guthrie would have been pleased to have one of his songs included on this disc.
- Mike Sadava