Thomas Wynn & The Believers | Wade Waist Deep
Thomas and Olivia Wynn never stood a chance – music is in their blood. The children of a Florida music legend who made his name as the original drummer of ‘70s stalwarts Cowboy, they were destined to follow him into the scene. And while Eric Clapton hasn’t covered one of their songs, as he did with their dad’s ‘Please Be With Me’, on the evidence of ‘Wade Waist Deep’ that can’t be far off.
Recorded in Nashville with producer Vance Powell – who has amassed four Grammys for his work with the likes of Jack White and Chris Stapleton – Thomas Wynn & The Believers’ third album is the perfect distillation of their multiple influences into a sound that’s uniquely their own. Built around the siblings’ paired voices, that sound effortlessly fuses elements of gospel, soul, country, and (of course) Southern rock, as evidenced by ‘Man Out Of Time’. The album opener blends a capella choral vocals with a swampy groove from drummer Ryan Miranda and bassist Dave Wagner, while Thomas’ guitar licks add extra grime. The hypnotic title track adds Colin Fei’s swirling organ to the mix, emphasising the beauty ingrained in the group’s music.
The triumphant ‘Heartbreak Alley’ is even more beautiful, Fei’s delicate playing underpinning the soaring vocals, while ‘Thin Love’ hits the highway for the musical equivalent of a trip across the US heartland, and heart-wrenching ‘I Don’t Regret’ throws a bluesy curveball.
The defiant ‘You Can’t Hurt Me’, howling, despairing ‘We Could All Die Screaming’, and classic blues-rocker ‘Burn As One’ hit a lot harder than the six-piece initially let on. The hallucinatory ‘Mountain Fog’ and epic album closer ‘Turn It Into Gold’ (complete with rampant apocalyptic finale) show the ambition of Wynn’s songwriting, as well as The Believers’ musical talents. And, just putting it out there, the visceral ‘Burn As One’ would sound perfect on a Clapton LP.