• James Harvey

Album Review - The Venture - Drakeford - 2018

Well I spend too much time on this wee Island, so over the pond for my next review. American root/folk rock duo, Drakeford. A Husband & Wife duo based out of Chattanooga, Tennessee, forgive me but I had to Google that, I’ve never heard of it before, still looks a beautiful place; one to add to my list of places to visit.

‘On your marks’ are the opening words of the album and they are from the first track “Ready or Not”, and it kicks of in such a positive way, a hand clapping, foot stomping, folk rock tale of living your life. This moves into the slower and more American Country sounding “Stronger Than One”, again a tale of hope and inner-strength. It’s moving in a way only Americans can do, it makes me want to stand up and shout "Hell, yes"!

“Seattle Rain” is next and has an almost English Folk ring to it, not just because it’s more downbeat compared to the first two tracks but it’s more self-reflecting, more about examining your own personal flaws and it’s bloody good!

Next mixing that English folk with good old American roots we have “The Road”. The most commercial sounding track on the album, not that that is a bad thing, it just changes the flow of the album, shakes it up a wee bit. This changes again, as we get to “Maybe”, a uniquely sounding mix of inspiring American roots and self-reflecting English folk. It’s a sound I’ve not really heard much before and I like it.

“Creation to Salvation” kicks off with a rap…and it’s good, old school (when rap was good, Cypress Hill, Boo-Yaa Tribe) good and highly religious. Now as an Englishman I’ve always found this odd. I’m religious but like many of my fellow countrymen it’s not something I really talk about to anyone, while over the pond they shout it from the roof tops and that’s great, inspiring but also a little alien to someone like me. My point is, while I like the track, it just feels a little awkward to listen to something so praising of one’s religious beliefs. Maybe we need to open a little more over here and speak about these things more, who knows.

“Why” sticks with the American/English mix and is a tale of true love and it’s moving. To love someone, warts and all, is rare, so when I hear it sung about like this, it always moves me. “The Love Song” is next and it’s another upbeat happy song, yet still has that undertone of self-criticism from the old country.

“Beauty of your Grace” again throws a spanner (wrench if you're American!) into the works, the flow slows right down. It has an almost Icelandic opening in the same vein of Monster & Men or Sigur Ros before moving back into the roots field.

“Better with You”, revisits the old school Country and spins a tale of lost love. Finishing with a live song “Whitewash” we can really hear what Drakeford sound like and I’m happy to say it’s the same as the rest of the album, which for me is always a sign of a good artist.

To sum up, Drakeford, manage to mix several different styles, not only America but from back across the pond, stopping off at Iceland before reaching England. An album that, on the whole, is about love and hope and being positive about your flaws and your beliefs. All in all, it’s a fine album well worth your time.

For more info, as always, check out their official website:

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