Posts Tagged ‘Withered Hand’

Time for tunes 80 thru 71 in our Top 200 of the past ten years.

80 Dr. Dog – It (2010)

Criminally tucked away on the expanded edition of Shame Shame, It is perfect Dr. Dog – nostalgic, feel-good, laid back folk inflected Americana that cries out for the back porch.


79 Chaika – The Mirror (2015)


Compulsive, hazy garage-psych to sear the soul.


78 Blitzen Trapper – Furr (2008)


At their best when they evoke their inner Bob Dylan and major on the rhyme heavy folk, Furr is a surreal, harmonica-flecked Jungle Book style tale set to a toe-tapping, bluesy rhythm.


77 Withered Hand – Hard On (2009)


With his creaky, fragile voice Dan Wilson (aka Withered Hand) might be an acquired taste. But for the connoisseur his awkward, funny and often brilliant bedroom-folk is a pure joy. A beard don’t make you a man / No, it takes something else / Something I’ll never have


76 The Felice Brothers – Whiskey In My Whiskey (2008)

The Felice Brothers are all the R words. Ramshackle, rollicking, raucous, rambunctious, rowdy and never more so than with this song. They are a carnival band in the best sense of the word taking in everything and spitting it back out with humour, irony, pathos and a gritty realism. This should be heard live, preferably at a party on a riverboat steamer or in a backwoods bar with old bullet holes scarring the walls.


75 Spector – Chevy Thunder (2012)


Sing-a-long indie anthem par excellence.


74 Snakes – Young American (2016)


Marvellous twangy Americana driven by a chugging, Johnny Cash style rhythm and Hank style vocals.


73 Natural Child – Rock Bottom (2012)


Whiskey soaked, doobie smoked Southern-fried blues-rock in the vein of Beggars Banquet-era Rolling Stones, played with a sloppy grit and sleazy charm.


72 Pete and the Pirates – Winter 1 (2010)


Like a 96 Tears for the modern world, Pete and the Pirates always had an ear for a catchy pop hook and this is one of their biggest. Irresistible.


71 Girl Band – Pears For Lunch (2015)

Unfiltered, freaked-out noise punk that perfectly marries the nervous, twitching energy of the guitars with deadpan vocal apathy. Ate eight bananas and I thought about a jog / Legged it around the gaff and took my top off / I look crap with my top off / Spend my time watching Top Gear with my trousers down.


Videos of the Day

Videos today from The Raveonettes and their contribution to the new Doors Tribute Album, A Psych Tribute to the Doors. We also have Forest and their debut video for All I Have, and from Pissed Jeans a live video for You’re Different (In Person). Lastly a video for Withered Hand’s excellent new track, Horseshoe.






More From Withered Hand

Posted: January 29, 2014 in Folk, Indie, Music, Rock

More From Withered Hand

New Gods, the forthcoming album from Withered Hand is right up there with a handful of others (Water Liars, the Felice Brothers etc.) that we are really looking forward to in 2015.

Having already shared Black Tambourine, here is another cracking tune from the album, Horseshoe.

New Gods will be out in late February/early March.


The Welcome Return Of Withered Hand

Black Tambourine is the first single from unique singer-songwriter Withered Hand’s album New Gods, which comes a mere five years or so since he recorded his outstanding debut Good News.

The single features the assistance of Black Tambourine’s own Pam Berry on vocals and Eugene Kelly of the Vaselines on guitar, and the result is a more uptempo, fuller excursion into classic indie-rock territory, but still with his trademark vocal quaver and brilliantly off-kilter observations on the oddball ways of the world.

Its good to have him back!

MM The Last Five Years - Dr Roddy

Believe it or not, Mad Mackerel has been around for more than five years now. During that time we’ve posted more than 4,000 times, and offered more than 5,000 songs for your listening pleasure. And more than three quarters of a million people have paid MM a visit during our lifetime on Google’s godawful blogspot and since April 2010 on WordPress.

We asked some of the regular MM contributors to give us their top twenty songs since MM first went live and we’re also going to give you one big mega-listing shortly, but first up with their personal top twenty is the right honourable Dr Roddy.

Through good fortune and fine sailing I have been lucky enough to be involved with this blog and it has provided me with some of the finest music in genres I maybe wouldn’t have looked in. So when asked to compile a top twenty of tunes from the last five years, I kicked aside the memories of musical turmoil that is involved with the yearly top tens, poured a stiff drink and set about it with relish.

20 Dan Auerbach – Heartbroken, In Disrepair


19 Dirty Bourbon River Band – Train Is Gone

Download Dirty Bourbon River Show – Train Is Gone mp3 (from Volume 2)


18 Tame Impala – Half Full Glass Of Wine

Download Tame Impala – Half Full Glass Of Wine mp3 (from Tame Impala EP)


17 Janice Graham Band – Front Door


16 Ox – Midnight On The Island


15 Dennis Hoppers Choppers – Good To Me


14 Timber Timbre – Bad Ritual


13 Nathaniel Rateliffe – Brakeman


12 William Elliot Whitmore – Old Devils


11 What Would Jesus Drive – The Girls Are In Charge

Download What Would Jesus Drive – The Girls Are In Charge (live) mp3 (from What Would Jesus Drive EP)


10 The Cave Singers – I Don’t Mind
Wonderfully carefree and happy song that could so easily be heard drifting out of a doorway in Haight Ashbury with some interesting smelling smoke circa 1967. Yet this song never bows or becomes a pastiche of that, it rises above it all with its own verve and character.

Download The Cave Singers – I Don’t Mind mp3 (from Welcome Joy)


9 Brown Bird – Wrong Black Mare
Sullen, desperate story songs are a bit of a fave of mine and to be honest I think I can trace it back to this song. A tale of woe, desperation and unpaid debts are told here with such clarity, it’s as if you’ve got drunk with Brown Bird and they have decided to spill their guts to you. You understand though, ‘coz at some point we have all backed the “Wrong Black Mare”

Download Brown Bird – Wrong Brown Mare mp3 (from


8 Mummy Short Arms – Cigarette Smuggling
When I wrote my first review of this song I thought I had described quite well. Upon re-reading it, I can safely say that my view has changed and will probably change on my next listen to it. The insanity, confusion, and babbling of this song are what holds my love for it. It’s an enigma wrapped in a riddle, all encased in a funky B-line, foot tapping beat, gravel throated, roister of a song.


7 Strayfolk – What Wouldn’t I Do
This is such a beautifully crafted song. Simple, but packed with a rich warm sound that feels like it lends weight to the honesty of this tale of lost and forlorn love. Perfect Americana direct from Sweden.

Download Strayfolk – What Wouldn’t I Do mp3


6 Withered Hand – Religious Songs
A piece of lyrical mastery is on display here. A fantastic sing-a-long arrangement supports the witty word play that Dan Wilson sings with a vulnerability to his voice. This doesn’t stop him from punching the words that need emphasis. This song also ask the obvious question “How does he really expect to be happy, when he listens to death metal bands?”


5 Tweak Bird – Weight
I love the in-your-face nature of this song. Right from the start, it sets its stall out – flat out, foot on the amp rock, and proud of it to boot. The guitar plays a gritty riff that sounds angry and frustrated, while the drummer is hell bent on punishing every bit of his kit.


4 Grass House – A Cradle A Short Breath
The deep sombre tones that lay across this song act as a perfect partner to the bass as it pounds along at a merry old pace. It never fails to make me give a wry smile as I bob along to it’s woeful chorus of “A cradle, a short breath”.


3 Roadside Graves – Far And Wide
I still think Roadside Graves is the best band name of this century and Far And Wide is a song that has stayed with me since my first listen – I was hooked. A great country riff lures you in and you hardly notice that the song fills with more and more sound and pleasure until it finishes and you’re left with a hole where the music once was, so you reach for the replay button, you know like musical heroin.

Download The Roadside Graves – Far And Wide mp3 (from My Son’s Home)


2 Wooden Wand – Servant To Blues
As this track rolls effortlessly on, Wooden Wand spills his bleak melancholy tale of a servant to blues. In other words, the relationship equivalent of the Church’s pious man. I love the rhythm of this track, it almost seems to tick along like a clock. The peacefulness of this song is speared through the heart with a great screeching guitar solo, this then just seems to ebb back into the shadows it leapt from, only to be covered by the warm sound of the organ. Truly blissful…


1 Henry’s Funeral Shoe – Stranger Dig (Everything’s For Sale)
For just two guys damn! They make some noise. Great heavy blues tinged riffs and rolling drum beats – I’m loving that all day long. There is talent and passion in abundance here. I’m sat here trying to write something for this whilst listening to it, that has had to stop, as when it plays it just grips me up and I can’t do anything other than get right into it. If you’re looking for something new rock wise I beg you to check them out, live if possible. Disappointment won’t be on the menu.

Christmas Post 11: Withered Hand

Posted: December 15, 2011 in Folk, Indie, Music

Christmas Post 11: Withered Hand. MM fave and all round good guy Withered Hand has put together this video for his festive tune Real Snow. It will be used as part of a Christmas card from Fence Records and they describe it thus: “sleigh bells, wistful violin, and mournful lyrics – it’s what Xmas is all about!

The even better news is that there is a new EP on the way early next year. It will be out on 3rd February also on Fence Records.


And for anyone who doesn’t have it, help yourself to one of the finest songs of 2009. In fact two.

Download Withered Hand – Hard On mp3 (from Good News)

Download Withered Hand – Cornflake mp3 (from Good News)

Withered Hand Live Review The courtyard space at the Museum of Modern Art in Oxford was the unusual, yet ideal, venue for Withered Hand’s first visit to Oxford.

Part of Rob St. John’s Adventures Close To Home series of gigs, it was one that we (MM, Popper and Banner) were looking forward to the most. We arrived to a most genteel setting of tea, cake and newspapers, a well stocked (if expensive) bar of bottled ales, and a tiny stage. It was about as intimate a setting as it is possible to imagine, with a (largely) reverential audience refreshingly bucking the normal trend of wanting to text and talk through every number being played.

Support came from the emotional and intense acoustics of Men Diamler, and despite a set fraught with hiccups – tuning troubles, a surreally off-wavelength heckler, and mobile phones going off inadvertently, there was enough there to keep the audience interested and engaged. Mixing gently, melancholic Nick Drake style folk songs with bellowed a capella protest songs and old traditional American folk, Men Diamler is anything but orthodox. Highlight for us was the epically tragic tale of Emily – the centrepiece of new album Bring On The Empty Horses. Have a listen below and check out his Bandcamp page here.


Withered Hand by contrast had no such troubles. A perfectly judged set of fragile folk songs sung in his uniquely quavering voice that held the audience from first note to last. Like another of MM faves, the marvellous Wooden Wand, Withered Hand has that all-too-rare ability to conjure up images and situations in a few, pin sharp lyrics that others would struggle to create in a whole song. There is a wonderful mix of the sublime, the ridiculous and the existentialist in the wordplay and the gently strummed instrumentation is deceptive in its apparent simplicity, yet provides the perfect backdrop for each tune.

And many were the tunes from the brilliant debut album Good News – from Cornflake to No Cigarettes to a mesmerising Religious Songs and from Providence to an audience pleasing Love In The Time Of Ecstasy, the highlights were many and the disappointments few if any – perhaps the fact he couldn’t play Hard On as the encore due to a lack of backing band.

No matter, the acclaim was generous and heartfelt, and it was clear that Withered Hand had gathered himself a devoted set of followers in Oxford – chief among them our very own Popper…

Buy Good News from here.

Download Withered Hand – Religious Songs mp3 (from Good News)

PS – The next Adventures Close to Home gig will also be at the same lovely venue on the 6th August and will feature the peculiar and surreal talents of Mary Hampton and the warm, intimate folk of Rozi Plain. Details here.

Withered Hand Live In Oxford

Posted: July 2, 2011 in Folk, Indie, Music

Withered Hand Live In Oxford Withered Hand has been one of our favourite discoveries of recent times. His album Good News was a standout from 2009 and ever since then he has been near the top of the list of all the artists we would like to see live.

So it is good news indeed that he will be playing a gig in Oxford in a weeks time on Saturday 9th July at the Museum of Modern Art.

Withered Hand is the musical project of Edinburgh-based artist Dan Willson – a witty, anti-folk singer who has drawn favourable comparisons with Daniel Johnston, Viking Moses, John Darnielle, Palace Music, Neil Young and Jeffrey Lewis.

Following two EPs through Fence Records in Scotland, Good News is the band’s first album. It continues to gain endorsement from quarters as diverse as DJ and indie superstar Jarvis Cocker, alternative music legend Julian Cope and comedian Daniel Kitson.

He will be supported by Men Daimler. One of the most exciting, unpredictable (pure mental…) performers you’ll ever have the joy of witnessing. Joining the dots of traditional British folk-song, Sacred Harp-esq devotional blues, performance art and a hearty wit, Men Diamler’s live show is a thing of real beauty, something that sticks long in the memory.

Tickets can be got from here – come and join us and say hello. Buy us a drink even, it’ll be great!

Visit Withered Hand’s website here. Buy Good News here.

Download Withered Hand – Hard On mp3 (from Good News)

Download Withered Hand – Cornflake mp3 (from Good News)

Withered Hand Made It!

Posted: March 13, 2011 in Folk, Indie, Music

Our friend Scottish Kate let us know via a comment on our post that Withered Hand made it to SxSW.

Good news indeed and thanks to anyone who helped via Twitter, Facebook or anything else. They’re in for a treat in Austin.

And why not check Kate’s own blog Burdz Eye View for all things good (and not so) in politics, music and much else in Scotland.

Download Withered Hand – Oldsmobile Car mp3 (from You’re Not Alone EP)

For some unfathomable reason the wonderful Withered Hand has so far been denied a visa to enter the USA and play at SxSW – apparently this is based on some arbitrary judgement about his artistic merits.

Clearly this is bollocks, but time is running out to get the decision overturned – as you can see from the e-mail he sent out:

Dear everybody

I had been invited to play SXSW, the big music festival in Texas, done everything correctly, spent a whole lot of money on flights and visas. And now my visa is held up a week before the show as US immigration do not think I am good enough to come into USA to play. Sadly I am not the only musician whose application seems to have landed on the ‘angry’ desk!

Twitter fans and Facebook users are spontaneously trying to help out in the only way they can really. I have already called in all the biggest favours I can in the BBC and the rest. Wheels are very slowly turning but i’m running out of time here. Just waiting now, flight leaves on Saturday. Album out on March 15th in USA on my US label Absolutely Kosher. Visa application (cost – $2300) on a desk somewhere in Vermont. Ugh.

Twitter hashtag to use is (sorry if this is gibberish to most of you, it was to me until a few months ago) –


Plz spread the word. Thanks Dan x

Please, please do what you can via Facebook and Twitter to support one of the best ‘folk’ artists we’ve heard in the UK in the past few years.

If you need proof of Withered Hand’s “artistic merit”, then just listen to these wonderful tracks.

Download Withered Hand – Hard On mp3 (from Good News)

Download Withered Hand – Cornflake mp3 (from Good News)