Canadian-born artist Donovan Woods released his fourth album Hard Settle, Ain’t Troubled in February of this year. Featuring ten songs, the album is a refreshingly eclectic mix of soft rock, country and folk. With soft, warm vocals and simple poetic lyrics, Woods’ mature, reflective stories are made even more compelling by the unique instrumentation. Violin, fiddle, piano, acoustic guitar and steel guitar inhabit the same space on many songs, creating a melting pot of sonic goodness.
“What Kind Of Love Is That?” exemplifies that aspect of the album beautifully. Rapid-fire lyrics juxtaposed with the soothing sounds of a violin portray the complicated emotions involved in loving, or being loved by, someone struggling with personal demons.
There have been quite a few fine songs written recently about the aftermath for towns ravaged by a crumbling economy and “They Don’t Make Anything In This Town” is one of the best. It’s a touching story about realizing the idyllic town you grew up, in essence, no longer exists and finding a way to let go.
The album closes with a realistic and poignant reflection on the ups and downs of chasing the dream of being a songwriter in Nashville, where singles are king and games must be played. “Leaving Nashville”, co-written by Woods and recently recorded by Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley for his solo project, conveys a love/hate relationship with the business while acknowledging that the desire to fulfill those dreams will prevail.
One listen to Hard Settle, Ain’t Troubled is sure to make you want to know more about Donovan Woods. You can find tour information, album purchase links and more at www.donovanwoods.net