The Wilders 'Self-Titled' Free Dirt

The latest album from this quartet continues their reputation as a band able to deliver songs in any number of categories from bluegrass to honky-tonk. This time out the bulk of the album has been produced by the band's guitarist Phil Wade. A multi-instrumentalist Wade has done a fine job of conveying their versatility and strengths. These include fiddler Betse Ellis - that she is credited with playing violin, viola as well as fiddle emphasizes this point. Nate Gawron is the band's bassist, electric and acoustic and is also responsible for 5 of the albums thirteen songs. Ellis contributed four and singer/guitarist Ike Sheldon wrote two. Sheldon is a striking vocalist who sings these songs with depth and emotion that round out the quartet's unit strengths. They're joined on the album also by drummer Tucker Slough and on a couple of occasions by Sarah Carpenter on vocals. With their own multi-instrumemntal skills they add layers of textures to these songs that cover a lot of ground from Ellis' fiddle led instrumentals to songs that connect strongly and will undoubtably form a core of their impressive live shows. The Wilders are one of those bands that succeed and deliver on recording and on stage. They play from the heart, they play the music they love and they experience live and they write about it. They can play with restarin as on Patrick Frazier's Pat's 25 as easily as they can rock out as they do with Sheldon's L.A. a tale of the that city's seamy side. Ellis' sings her life on the road tale Things They Say About Home and again shows that these songs come from their troubadour lives and loves. Take a walk on the Wilder side.