A Review of The Waifs CD
"Up All Night"

"Up All Night"
by The Waifs

Copyright 2003
Compass Records
117 30th Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37212
ph: (615) 320-7672
http://www.compassrecords.com and

This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 2/04
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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One could easily understand if the title of this effort was mistaken for some sort of a compendium related to insomnia, a nagging prostate or heck, maybe even Levitra. But, as they say in politics, if you're in a hole, especially of your own accord, then quit digging. So it's time to toss aside the shovel.

Good ol' Willie Nelson sang of the giddy pleasures of touring in "On The Road Again". The Waifs are here to counter that preference. This three-person band out of Australia, offers angst-filled, off-kilter souls lamenting their absence from home or trying to find where home is, in a collection of songs about the travel-weary and lovelorn. Being based in the far away Land Down Under has apparently worked wonders for the building of this trio's repertoire.

Song snapshots such as "London Still" (probably the most recognized track from radio play), "Lighthouse," Rescue," "Sweetness," "Three Down" and "Since I've Been Around" are prime examples. "Lighthouse" shines as dare we write it, a metaphor for the lost. The second verse of "Three Down" sounds remarkably early Dylan-esque--is it "Maggie's Farm"?

This band is superb at atmospherics--the musical settings of their songs. Utilizing mainly harmonica, guitar, a dash of dobro or mandolin, plus the sensual voices of members Donna and Vikki Simpson, the result is an engaging folksy blues or bluesey folk. Joshua Cunningham also takes his turn at the mike with enjoyable, if not as provocative, results.

Although still in their twenties, these three individuals display the talent and skill, plus an insight into the frailities of the human condition of those usually much older. So draw the drapes, put on this CD and pine right along for home and love.

For the record, The Waifs are Donna Simpson on vocals and acoustic guitar; Vikki Simpson on vocals, harmonica and acoustic guitar; and Joshua Cunningham on vocals, guitar, mandolin, ukulele and dobro. They are assisted on this release by Ben Franz on electric guitar, double bass and dobro; David MacDonald on drums; and Bruce Haymes on wurlitzer.

Track List:

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