From The Fields is the second album in Woodland Telegraph’s Canadian Landscape Trilogy, each of which documents a specific area of Canada through folklore and music. Full of rich instrumentation, each song tells a story of prairie life that singer-songwriter Matthew Lovegrove wrote after having rummaged through newspaper archives and having spoken with the “oldtimers” of the Canadian flatlands.
Woodland Telegraph’s togetherness is undeniable throughout their songs.The open and airy “White Pelican” gives bassist Eric Mosher a perfect opportunity to shine, while “Wind Out On The Prairie” owes it pleasant mood to some cheerful strings. Every instrument played, from banjos and guitars to the drums, is rich with precision and fluidity. However, Woodland Telegraph falters via band leader Lovegrove’s weak vocal performance. Although his talent in songwriting is obvious, he should take a step back and allow someone with a stronger voice to do the lead vocals. The Prairies are a rough climate, and they deserve their stories to be told by a voice that doesn’t rely on trying to be pretty, rather than just belting out the raw, unadulterated stories of the middle of Canada.
Regardless, From The Fields is an enjoyable album full of bluegrass and folk and it is tight and together in its instrumentation. This is definitely worth a listen.