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Live from the Union of Soul

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Album Review

Australian folk-rockers the Waifs are captured in a batch of live recordings made during their Union of Soul tour of their home country in 2008. The band's sound here is acoustic-based but not exclusively or aggressively folky; in fact, the stylistic range is impressively wide on this fine album. It opens with "How Many Miles," a song that sounds something like a collaboration between the BoDeans and Los Lobos (and is marred only by a sightly intrusive harmonica). Singer Donna Simpson introduces "When I Die" as a bluegrass song, but it's really a honky tonk number, bordering on rockabilly, and a very good one. Elsewhere things settle into a jazzier, torchier, sexier mode: note in particular the sultry "Sundirtwater" (arranged mainly for voice and string bass) and the especially torchy "Stay." "Sweetest Dream" sounds like it could have been written and recorded in 1960s Memphis or Muscle Shoals, which is compliment both to the songwriting and to the performance — this is a very solid group that nicely balances tightness with flexibility. On the softer side is the sweetly regretful "London Still," and while the program focuses primarily on original compositions, there is also a fine rendition of the Paul Kelly and Kev Carmody song "From Little Things" (featuring guest artist John Butler). Fans will be especially excited to see this release, but for newcomers it also makes a fine introduction to the band.

Customer Reviews

Really Awesome

They're duet with John Butler is spectacular
This is one of they're best live albums


Formed: 1992 in Albany, Australia

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Originally performing Bob Dylan covers in and around bars in their native Australia, the sister duo of Vicki and Donna Simpson were known as COLOURS. Formed in 1992 and touring constantly in their homeland, the pair hooked up with Josh Cunningham during a stop in August 1992. A year later, they changed their name to the WAiFS. From there, the group released a cassette of original material but decided to head for Melbourne, the mecca of Australian music. A loyal following and hectic touring pace resulted...
Full Bio
Live from the Union of Soul, The Waifs
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