Asleep Many Years in the Wood
Like his brother the Bonnie “Prince,” Ned Oldham’s The Anomoanon makes alt-country albums that play it straight, heartfelt and honest and are all the better for it. I get the impression that Oldham wrote the majority of the songs on this album for fall harvest evenings and back porch gatherings with his extended musical family. Old, rustic riffs and instantly familiar vocal melodies on “Bluebird of Happiness” and “One That Got Away” sound just as fresh in Oldham’s hands as they must have generations back. Like the Scots indie-troubadour Alasdair Roberts, Oldham has the ability to channel the beautiful rural sounds of his homeland and contemporize them without sacrificing any authenticity. Look no further than Oldham’s voice for proof of this. With the combination of Neil Young’s almost-falsetto and Jay Farrar’s weary croak, it’s the distillation of 30 years of Americana.
Those times when the band plugs in are equally enjoyable. Dirt road rock songs like “Kick Back” and the roughhousing title track would find a lifelong home in every trucker’s cab if it was a perfect world. Alt-country may be dangerously close to going stale or burning out after its decade-long life, but Asleep Many Years in the Wood is Oldham’s way of laughing off such notions. He’s been holed up in the woods for ten years and still going strong as ever.
Temporary Residence: http://www.temporaryresidence.com/