The Weeping Willows

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The Weeping Willows

Ahead of the band’s new release and Australia-wide tour, we had a chat with Andrew Wrigglesworth about their Americana sound and work on the new album.

Hi Andrew, thanks for taking the time to chat to Forte, how are you and what are you up to at the moment?

Pleasure is all ours! We have been pretty crazy busy at the moment gearing up to release our sophomore album Before Darkness Comes A-Callin’.

Americana has been a large influence on your own music, is there a time that you remember when it first drew you in?

For me personally, I guess I really started listening to this style of music as a teenager. My first experience of artists who have helped influence this style were guitarists like Merle Travis, Doc Watson and Chet Atkins. I remember hearing Chet for the first time playing a song called ‘Windy and Warm’ and thinking it was two guitar players, one playing bass and one playing melody. When I found out he did the whole thing, I just desperately needed to learn how to do it.

Did recording in America help you connect more with the kind of music/genre you were producing?

I think there were elements that certainly did help; some of it just mentally as just being in the ‘Mother Country’ of Americana helped us get into the right frame of mind.

There are also so many American musicians, producers and engineers who just get the style as they’ve grown up with it, been exposed to it and let’s face it, really it’s just in their blood. Certainly having a lot of American musos play on the album too helped us get across a little bit more of a traditional flavour.

In that process you were able to work with engineer Ryan Freeland, what was the experience like working with someone who recorded some of your favourite albums?

It was an incredible experience working with Ryan. Ryan was so gentle, kind, patient, full of great ideas, focused, intuitive and nothing was too stressful or difficult for him. Through the whole week of recording, he made us feel at ease with the whole recording process and he truly was the main reason we could relax, sit back in one room and record the core of all the songs live.

River of Gold feels timeless with the harmonies and the banjo throughout the song, is this something we can expect from the other songs on Before Darkness Comes A’Callin’?

Thank you! Yes, the whole album certainly has a lot of harmony driven songs and arrangements. Our goal in our songwriting is to be as timeless and universal as possible. Throughout the album, we mix it up instrumentally and have a mix of banjo, pedal steel, fiddle, mandolin and even the accordion. There also are some tracks that we take it in turns of who sings lead vocal.

You’re planning an Australia-wide tour for the release of your new album, is there anywhere in particular that you’re excited to play?

That’s a tough question as we are thrilled to get out to so many places we’ve never played before, as well as to places where we can catch up with friends that we don’t see very often.

For me personally I’m very excited to play The Caravan Club in Melbourne for our official Album Launch on Sunday April 17 Bill Chambers. Bill has just released a new album (Cold Trail) as well so we are teaming up for this one and he is just so much fun to tour and play music with.

You’ve toured many folk and country festivals in your time, is there a favourite festival moment either on or off stage that you wanted to share?

We have been very fortunate to play at so many amazing festivals. I think one memory that certainly sticks out for us is going to the Fleurieu Folk Festival in South Australia and teaming up with our dear friends ‘Andy and Marta’ (folk duo), sitting under a tree, trading songs, harmonies and guitar licks. They are an incredible duo so it was just divine to be able to play with these guys.

Thanks again for taking the time to chat with us, are there any words of wisdom that you would like to leave us with?

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When & Where: Babushka Bar, Ballarat – March 18, Billyroy’s Blues Bar, Bendigo – March 25, Bendigo Folk Club, Bendigo – May 20.