Sharron Kraus: The Woody Nightshade Review
The Woody Nightshade is Kraus’ follow up album to 2008’s The Fox’s Wedding. The first big change you’ll notice between the two albums is the loss of the more traditional folk banjos and fiddles in favor of a more traditional rock instrumentation. Not that Kraus has made a loud album, but the change in instruments has added an interestingly different sound textures behind her beautiful voice. The opener “Nothing” takes the traditional folk sound and backs with a gentle layer of feedback and noise. The sounds help back the track, but are always restrained enough to let Kraus’ vocals sit right out front. The sparse “Heaviness Of Heart” breaks the sound down even further, with nothing but a chorus of “ahhs” and a sparse drum beat to back her voice. The title track is another standout, a floating dream of finger picked acoustic guitars.
The Woody Nightshade is a fine entry in Sharron Kraus’ catalog with one foot firmly planted in the great UK folk tradition of the past and the other in the lush sounds of today’s scene. While the record never hits any points that outright wow you, it brings you along on a hypnotizing ride.