Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.
In this review, I’m going to be exploring ‘Catch the Spirit,’ the debut single from a new independent outfit that goes by the name of Fennario’s Wolf. Lead by mandolinist Edwin Lightner, the group bills themselves as ‘newgrass,’ meaning they infuse bluegrass, Americana themes, and experimental instrumentation to create a cohesive musical experience. How does their new single hold up, and are they worth keeping tabs on? Let’s explore ‘Catch The Spirit.’
Bluegrass is fascinating territory in the independent scene. Many of the performers walk precariously on a line between talent and ostentation, and often, they fall into the latter with solo sections that rival the length of progressive rock’s most rambling performances. There’s an argument to be made for brevity, however, and for embracing the simplicity of the American folk heritage. Fennario’s Wolf does this quite elegantly.
‘Catch The Spirit’ isn’t a long song, clocking in under three minutes. In this sense, it takes a noticeable cue from early folk music. When exploring the band’s Sound Cloud, this shouldn’t be surprising, either. The band has a killer rendition of Leadbelly’s ‘In The Pines’ that very much falls within a similar vein. ‘Catch The Spirit,’ of course, feels much more contemporary.
‘Catch The Spirit’ exudes personality, with each of the band members performing in harmony perfectly. There isn’t a missed note in this tune. It’s an upbeat number as well; something that could be danced to nicely. Perhaps most importantly, it’s well produced. All too often, acoustic instrumentation comes across my desk that is poorly mic’d and produced. I’d actually argue music like this is far less forgiving in the studio than a loud rock band - so hats off to the producer.
There’s a lot to love about ‘Catch The Spirit.’ It’s an infectious little number that makes a strong statement for all upcoming work from Fennario’s Wolf.
Keep tabs on them.