Whetherman’s Weathered Mind

4 Dec



Take one seasoned, bucolic folk artist whose music inspires laid back scenes of pastoral pastures and fresh water streams. Mix this artist with a full band of five additional skilled musicians who infuse even more rhythm and melody to the music. Your end-product: a dozen colorful pieces enriched with apple pie Americana and rustic soul. 

Whetherman is the independent project of musician Nicholas Williams, who, since 2007, has released studio albums under the moniker. Streams and Pastures is the newest release from Williams, who has added five additional band members to complete an efficacious six-person band. Williams (Guitar, Harmonica, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin) adds Rachel Murray (Vocals), JP Salvat (Percussion), Alex Hayward (Drums, Misc.), Adam Mantovani (Upright Bass), Eric Brigmond (Keys, Trumpet) and Drew Matulich (Fiddle/Mandolin) to the mix. Quite a stock of instrumentalists, huh? Such cases leave open the potential issue of overcrowding, but Whetherman skillfully balances the instrumentals and creates a relaxed blend of music that hits on folk, country, and Americana roots.

Each song on Streams and Pastures is distinctive. That’s difficult to do. While the music abides by an overarching home cooked feel, Whetherman successfully uses its stock of musicians to develop dulcet individualized music. Let’s hit on my two favorite songs from the album. 

Williams and Rachel Murray sing over initial percussion and acoustic instrumentation. The song is carried by laid back percussion and plucked, airy strings, which help establish an easy-going tenderness and calm atmosphere. It’s highly listenable. You don’t want it to end. In overwhelmingly simplistic terms, the music is just nice. 

“Weathered Mind” is more upbeat and infectious. The country swing is effervescent. The gradual layering of tracks works so well in this song, and the culmination of sound is melodious. The song sounds like it was created by the spawn of Jack Johnson and Ray Lamontagne, tranquil and weightless like Johnson’s acoustic stylings and instrumentally conscience like Lamontagne’s folk. 

Check out the band’s Website, Facebook, Twitter

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