Reviews:: Woodland Telegraph From the Fields

It’s easy to assume any accurate description of Woodland Telegraph, a folk collective from Alberta, is said with tongue planted firmly in cheek. Magestic. Tasteful. Polished. Over the last few years these terms have moved from complimentary to dismissive and unfortunately, when you want to describe the meticulous arrangements of the songs Matthew Lovegrove and his friends put together, you have to deliver what come off as backhanded compliments.


The thing is, ignoring that fact that rootsy, bluegrass pop can sound great when dressed in it’s finest would be a mistake. Woodland Telegraph uses strings, banjo, harmonies, lap steel, mandolin, bass and drums that are sewn together to build a quilt as warm and comforting as you can imagine. In a eulogy delivered at Johnny Cash’s funeral he was described as “a poet that works in the dirt” and if that analogy of his compositions holds true, Lovegrove - and his appropriately titled record, From The Fields - is a poet grown from the dirt. Taking his inspiration from the vast and breathtaking landscapes Canada has to offer, his words come from the press clippings, historical records and narratives passed from person to person. Treating their stories, their towns and their emotions with anything less than respect would be a crime. These melodies live in cabins and farmhouses, deeply breath the winter air, and share a spirit of community. These songs are Canada, seen in her finest light.


From start to finish, From The Fields is rich and hearty. Delicate and sung with genuine amazement, Lovegrove’s Canadian Landscape Trilogy is a project that obviously pulls the best from him. The band transports us to morning sunsets, and summer nights. We fly over mountain ranges, and float along prairie breezes landing in small towns, undiscovered by the Google Maps trucks. This isn’t music for the folk, it’s music from the folk and that subtle but important difference makes each note, even punchier/progressive melodies like “White Pelican” an intimate, personal experience.


From The Fields is available as a pay-what-you-can download, but I highly recommend shelling out for the actual CD. Complete with a hand stitched cover, beautiful origami folded liner notes and a topographical map, the physical product (much like the settings that inspired it) is something to behold.

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MP3:: Woodland Telegraph - Niagara Escarpment




This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011 at 8:46 am and is filed under Canada, Music, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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One Response to “Reviews:: Woodland Telegraph From the Fields”

feez February 20th, 2011 at 3:19 am

Brilliant review. Nicely done guys.

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