This EP is available to order from rustedrail.com/driftwood2.html
Rusted Rail is proud to announce the release of the "Holy Ghost" EP by the Irish avant-folk project The Driftwood Manor. For this six- track extended player The Driftwood Manor (based around lynchpin Eddie Keenan) have crafted their own brand of apocalyptic appalachia. For "Holy Ghost", Keenan worked with a number of long-time collaborators including co-producer Steve Fanagan to create an EP which takes on his fascination with the darker side of American folk and its relation to Irish traditional music. Although initially intended to be an incredibly stark record with little instrumentation, the songs took on new layers of skin over the course of the winter months during which it was recorded. After adding a plethora of instruments in Steve Fanagan's home studio, Keenan called in Bean Dolan (of Resurrection Fern), Fiddle player Neil Fitzgibbon and vocalist Anne Marie Hynes to add their own touch to proceedings. This 3" EP is housed in a hand-assembled and hand-stamped card sleeve.
RR23 A Rusted Rail Release
So now we need something succinct, and it comes in the form of a six-track 3" CD by THE DRIFTWOOD MANOR, Holy Ghost (Rusted Rail). Heavy buzz and hum here is offset by full, sincere mandolin and banjo; there's some sparkling playing on this, with a particularly strong fiddle. It's a welcoming album but thankfully without an eager-to-please desperation. 'I Would Lose You Still' is the standout track for me, and it shows off this CD's accessibility without compromising on the originality.
- Jeanette Leech, SHINDIG Magazine
Six tracks squeezed onto this teenie weenie disc, all bursting with passion and mourning from Eddie Keenan who sings, plays guitars and bouzouki, and all very well too may I add. With tracks like 'Bury Me Alive', 'Gone Devil', 'I would Lose You Still' and 'The Devil Is My Brother'; it's apparent that this isn't one to rock a party. So instead get a decent single malt in, put those tired feet up and sip away to the sound of one man's inner-mind as he performs a classy selection of morbid folk/ blues. - Norman Records
This time around we get six tracks, pretty much in the same style but all with a power of their own. Therein lies the strength of Keenan's songwriting: the ability to come up with quite a number of songs in a coherent style that manage to be good enough in their own right to command the listener's attention. Particular attention must go to the superb "Bury Me Alive", a song with a strong dose of ballad and spiritual influence, sounding like it could come straight from some countryside church in the American (or Irish?) outback. But really, all the other tracks are simply strong as well; Holy Ghost is solid until the end. - Evening of Light
"Holy Ghost" a 3" cd from The Driftwood manor, featuring six short tracks that overflow with a sweet folk feel, that heady mix of sadness and melody, all topped off with the wonderful voice of Eddie Keenan. Mixing the sinister with the beautiful, the lyrics of "Bury Me Alive" are at odds with the sweetness of the tune, whilst "I Would Lose You Still" is aching in its sadness yet completely beautiful.
Driftwood Manor are based around the songwriting talents of Eddie Keenan and backed on this release by Neil Fitzgibbon on fiddle, Anne Marie Hynes on additional vocals, Bean Dolan on double bass and Steve Fanagan on accordion and percussion. The influence of Appalachian folk is clear but Eddie's treatment of the form is similar to Alasdair Robert's response to Scottish traditional folk forms. Lovely.
- Boa Melody Bar
Eddie Keenan - The Driftwood Manor lead man who sings, plays guitars and bouzouki has done a phenomenal job by artfully crafting this set of songs with a slight touch of appalachian folk and psychedelic background making it sound more austere and gentle at the same time. The timbre of his voice is delivering a woeful mystery. Backed by by Neil Fitzgibbon on fiddle, Anne Marie Hynes on additional vocals, Bean Dolan on double bass and Steve Fanagan on accordion and percussion the story is getting more and more ethereal and un-obvious impervious squeeze of multilayered work assembled at Steve Fangan's home studio. The texts yet full of thin existential spider's web fit the climax so well. And again Eddie's voice is delivering...To some extent the material finely packaged in a small stamped envelope is way beyond the labels of folk and avant-pop hugely because of the intimacy you get by listening to it...
- Felthat Reviews
Costituitisi intorno al cantautore e polistrumentista Eddie Keenan, The Driftwood Manor rappresentano l'ennesimo esempio di collettivo avant-folk di recente ricorrente con frequenza, in particolare in Irlanda. Ed è proprio la "specialista" irlandese Rusted Rail a dare alle stampe il loro Ep "Holy Ghost", che segue di un paio d'anni il debutto autoprodotto "A Gathering".
Analogamente ad esperienze quali quelle di Agitated Radio Pilot e The Magickal Folk Of The Faraway Tree, anche The Driftwood Manor conducono una ricerca intorno al folk tradizionale, sulla quale vengono di volta in volta innestate esili torsioni psych, rilanci orchestrali e pennellate moderatamente tenebrose. I venti minuti scarsi dell'Ep riassumono tutto ciò in sei tracce che rideclinano questi elementi secondo una sensibilità melodica e una tavolozza strumentale composita ma dalle tonalità estremamente fruibili.
Prove ne siano l'essenziale litania di "Bury Me Alive" e le placide visioni dell'iniziale "After The Fall", ben presto piegate a un raffinato romanticismo e all'ovattata nostalgia, secondo modalità non così distante da quelle dei brani più sommessi di James Yorkston. Attraverso un ventaglio di strumenti che comprende, tra gli altri, banjo, mandolino, accordion, bozouki, piano e contrabbasso, Keenan e compagni travalicano agevolmente i cliché (avant-)folk, coniugando da un lato tradizione e una certa sensibilità "indie" e dall'altro ammantando i loro brani di sfumature impressionistiche, che in "I Would Lose You Still" sfiorano spettrali narcolessie slow-core mentre in "Mountains Slowly Collapsing" si abbandonano alla sottile tensione appalachiana di un accompagnamento di quasi solo violino.
Ad atmosfere e arrangiamenti in continua trasformazione si uniscono poi le apprezzabili doti melodiche di Keenan e il suo cantato serafico ma non per questo asettico, che trova un contrappunto ideale nei saltuari controcanti della dolce voce di Anne Marie Hynes.
Tanto basta per rendere consigliabile appuntare il nome dei Driftwood Manor tra quelli da tenere d'occhio, nel novero degli artefici delle infinite trasformazioni del folk, che in particolare in Irlanda e in Scozia stanno restituendo nuova linfa a eredità cultural-musicali che sarebbe superficiale considerare esaurite
released August 1, 2010