Jeff Andrew | Vagabonds & Wastrels

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Folk: Anti-Folk Spoken Word: Storytelling Moods: Mood: Weird
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Vagabonds & Wastrels

by Jeff Andrew

Travel songs for orphans, freaks, hobos and ghosts. Rusty gates, muted horns, resonators, accordions and voices, held down with percussive acoustic guitar and the mad bowing of a six-fingered classical bassist.
Genre: Folk: Anti-Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Dirt Alley Rose
6:30 $0.99
2. Deeper Than This
2:47 $0.99
3. Truck Stop Wall (Highway of Tears)
4:32 $0.99
4. Old Drunken Scribe
4:07 $0.99
5. Cambie & Cordova
5:01 $0.99
6. Rebel Girl
6:14 $0.99
7. Shapeshifter
3:46 $0.99
8. Map of Secrets
3:53 $0.99
9. Faerie Music
2:56 $0.99
10. Wanderlust
4:09 $0.99
11. Vagabonds & Wastrels
3:11 $0.99
12. The Madhouse Keeper
6:01 $0.99
13. Zombie Falsetto
5:51 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"A wordsmith and poet...Andrew has harnessed his muse on hobos, heartsick pilgrims and the demons left on the highway." - Americana UK

"A complex album, one that not only tips its hat to Tom Waits and Utah Phillips but also asks them to sit down for a while." - Edmonton Vue Weekly

"A two-sided record on a one-sided disc, the album begins with familiar folk fare: love, drunks, killers and working-class heroes, before descending into an underworld of faeries, ghosts and madness." - BC Musician Magazine

"With a voice like rusted steel creaking in the wind...(Andrew)'s songs echo the drama and dust of the old folksingers." - Comox Valley Record

"Andrew sings like a hard-traveling vagabond spinning midnight madrigals with the ghosts of the modern world." - Penticton Western News

In January, 2009, Jeff Andrew released his first full-length album, Vagabonds & Wastrels (Shade Tree Records), a mix of edgy, political folk, cabaret-style fantasy, experimental spoken word and raucous juke-joint hollers. Recorded in Victoria with producer/engineer Corwin Fox, the album debuted at #5 on CFUV's Roots chart and has been gathering fans across Canada, Europe and the US ever since.

"There's something here for everybody," says Andrew. "Whether you're a hardworking hobo struggling against the system, a heartsick pilgrim searching for love and freedom on the highway or a demon playing fiddle in the Devil's string band, there's a song or a story here for you."

Like the vinyl records Andrew grew up with, the album is split into two sides - the "Vagabonds & Wastrels" of the title. The first half is a set of character-driven folk songs about the drifters who wander forgotten highways, or live and die in places like Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. Standouts include Rebel Girl, an epic work-song about the heroes of early 20th century labour battles and Truck Stop Wall, a haunting first-person ballad about the Highway of Tears in Northern BC.

On Side 2, the album shifts into the world of dark fantasy. Rumbling bass drones and driving percussion on tracks like Map of Secrets and Faerie Music set the stage for a nightmarish journey down the cobble-stoned paths of the underworld. Apocalyptic visions, strange tales and eerie soundscapes abound.

"It could be the long-lost soundtrack to a play written by William Burroughs and H.P. Lovecraft, with set design by Brian Froud," says Andrew.



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