The Deep Dark Woods : The Place I Left Behind

The Deep Dark Woods sound seems to come from its namesake – a special place where few venture to travel. In their most recent release, The Place I Left Behind, once again we find ourselves in a land the band has crafted through haunting ballads. The songs sound as if they were whispered in a dark, cold, winter landscape.

As someone who calls Appalachia home, these stories seem so familiar, yet the stringed sound of my home travels across a country border from rural Saskatchewan. I couldn’t help but be attracted to “Virginia,” a song that showcases the timeless story of a woman who keeps leaving and coming back, told through the warm cries of a pedal steel, organ and fiddle.

The album’s title track features some fantastic finger-picking by Ryan Boldt, who wrote this song in the shed of his parent’s cabin in Saskatchewan a couple years back.  Based around the old folk tune “The Girl I Left Behind,” Boldt took the opportunity to pen his own ode to the place he obviously treasures so much.

The folk, alt-country, Americana scene of today is a mishmash soup of a million bands trying to create their own sound, yet for my money no one is more successful in distancing themselves than the Deep Dark Woods. The band’s fourth album has this timeless quality that like the band themselves, seems to avoid the pitfalls of a musical trend that threatens much of the mountain music I cherish so much.

The Place I Left Behind is now available from Sugar Hill Records.