Freakwater – Scheherazade

  • March 10, 2016

It has been a long ten years in-between Freakwater albums, so Scheherazade is the welcome return of Catherine Ann Irwin and Janet Beveridge Bean and their brand of Appalachian country folk. Scheherazade is a bit more atmospheric than earlier releases but maintains its stirring Appalachian sound over another stellar collection of songs about small town woes, heartbreak, and desperation. Unlike previous albums which were recorded in Chicago, their latest (which is titled after the narrator of Middle Eastern folk tale 1,001 Nights) was recorded in Freakwater’s native Louisville, Kentucky, with a roster that includes their longtime bassist David Wayne Gay as well as Warren Ellis (Dirty Three), James Elkington (Tweedy), and Evan Patterson (Young Widows). Notable tracks include: the grim “What the People Want”; the troubling “Ghost Song”; the toe-tapping first single, “The Asp and the Albatross”; the twangy yet tragic “Falls of Sleep”; the reflective “Number One With a Bullet”; and the re-imagined nursery rhyme “Down Will Come Baby.” Scheherazade is another great album from this seminal Americana/Alt Country band. – Written by JFelton



SIMILAR | Catherine Irwin, Janet Bean and the Concertina Wire, Kelly Hogan & The Pine Valley Cosmonauts, The Sandpaper Dolls, The Sadies