I Draw Slow Prepare to Release 'Turn Your Face to the Sun' and Ready TWO Shows at Rockwood Music Hall
Already a favorite in their home country of Ireland, I Draw Slow is preparing to release their new album Turn Your Face to the Sun on April 21st. I Draw Slow - siblings Dave (acoustic guitar, vocals) and Louise Holden (vocals), Adrian Hart (violin), Colin Derham (clawhammer banjo), and Konrad Liddy (double bass) - merges American folk and Irish storytelling with close-harmony vocals, intriguing instrumentation, and compelling subject matter that results in a captivating sound that is sure to win over audiences worldwide. Ahead of their shows at Rockwood Music Hall on album release day, April 21st, Dave Holden took some time to answer a few questions via email about the band's roots, their new album, and more.
You have been together for a decade, but for someone who is new to you, can you give a brief background as to how y’all came together?
Well, my sister and I obviously go way back! Pretty much all 5 of us have played in bands together over the years in various different formations. Ireland, although it punches above its weight musically, is a pretty small place - everyone knows or is aware of everyone else.
Being from Ireland, how did you come to focus on playing American folk music?
About 20 years ago I was busking in Australia when I came across a banjo player playing bluegrass late at night in the red light district of Sydney (I was living there, not visiting!). I wasn’t really aware of that style of music, and he took me under his wing and we started playing together. I came home after traveling and brought my holiday romance with me!
Are there any particular artists you site as inspiration or influences?
We all love the old Appalachian style of American folk music, it just seems to have a resonance with us; it’s very Irish sounding which obviously makes sense given the background to it. We’re also big fans of Country and folk music, Townes van Zandt, Neil Young, Gillian Welch etc, but we also love the storytelling element in the Irish tradition.
In April, I Draw Slow will release their fourth album, Turn Your Face To The Sun. What is the significance of the title? This is a dark album with dark themes in many ways, but it also has a background of redemption. Turn your face to the sun is the obvious answer to living in dark times.
For the first time, you introduced brass on the album. Why did you choose to do that and was there anything else differently you did this time around?
We have toured a lot in the south-western US over the last couple of years and it has had an effect on us, I guess. We just thought it would add to the palette and complement the songs. Nearly all of this album was captured completely live as we really wanted to have that energy.
The lead track is “My Portion.” Would you please tell the story behind the song?
This song is about the journey of an addict, no matter what that addiction may be: alcohol, drugs, religion, or fundamentalism.
Why did you close the album with “Crooked Life?”
We always like to go out on a contemplative note! It always felt like the closer for us. It’s quite a personal song and the picked guitar fade out sounds like the album is flying off into the distance, you know you’ve reached the end (we hope).
You have played over twenty states and many festivals, including MerleFest - are you pleasantly surprised at the reception you have received performing in the US?
Always. American audiences have been so good to us and have really been loyal. Every time we come over we notice people traveling from far distances to come see us again
Finally, I often like to know what you are listening to. Is there one recent release you would recommend others check out?
I’m really enjoying the new Chris Thile & Brad Mehldau album at the moment and the Elliot Smith reissue.
I Draw Slow will be in NYC at Rockwood Music Hall on April 21st for TWO shows
7pm Tickets HERE
830pm SOLD OUT
For more information visit their official website
Find them on Facebook, Twitter, and Spotify
Pre-order Turn Your Face to the Sun HERE