Ryan Boldt – Broadside Ballads



Birds chirp, strings are strummed and gently picked. “Love grows older, then love grows colder,” croons a melancholy Ryan Boldt to open his debut solo record, Broadside Ballads. The collection of nine traditional folk songs interpreted by the Deep Dark Woods’ singer and principal songwriter is a delicate, beautiful disc, full of the mournful dirges and uplifting ballads that fans have come to associate with the DDWs. But it is also a refreshing step back from those deep, dark places the Saskatoon-based group has become known for, allowing Boldt to draw deep at the rich well that nourishes the folk tradition. “Just As the Tide Was Flowing” captures the sadness of watching seasons pass, witnessing love fade. “Poor Murdered Women,” with its squealing lead guitar, is as much a lament to the current state of affairs in Canada as it is timeless. “Sally My Dear” may well have echoed out from a cottage on the moors or a porch in the deepest Appalachia, as a kitchen in Saskatchewan. Not that there was ever any doubt that Boldt was a student of the folk tradition and not some fly-by-night, plaid wearing folk-ish bandwagon jumper. But this delicately crafted debut solidifies his place in that circle, which thanks to those with a similar commitment to the real roots of folks music, remains unbroken. A great listen on any cold, Canadian winter’ day. (Dahl Street Records, ryanboldt.bandcamp.com) Sheldon Birnie


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