Wayward Sons is an evocative snapshot of a special night of dry banter, salty tales and classic songs performed with industrial-strength charisma by two artists at the top of their game. The atmospheric album places the listener squarely in the midst of the crowd as they cheer the Anglo-American duo through a diverse set of self-penned songs and classics from the book of Americana.
In the autumn of 2014, on their first tour together, Ian Siegal and Jimbo Mathus rolled into the sleepy Dutch town of Hoogland. They pitched camp at Cafe De Noot, which despite its parochial name has been hosting international touring artists for more than 20 years. What followed was a special night. The set might easily have been lost into folklore, kept alive only in the memories of the fans that packed the venue. Thankfully, somebody hit ‘record.’
Even in the age of auto-tune and Pro Tools, you can’t fake chemistry ~ and Wayward Sons proves the Siegal/Mathus partnership has it in spades. The pairs friendship goes back to 2013, when Mathus contributed banjo and mandolin to Siegal’s acclaimed album, The Picnic Sessions, recorded in Mississippi. Despite hailing from opposite sides of the Atlantic, the two men found they shared a cultural touchstone, not to mention a rare musical understanding that bleeds into Wayward Sons. Siegal’s acoustic and slide guitar dovetails with Mathus’ mandolin, harmonica and kazoo, while vocal harmonies lock horns.
This standout show from their first tour together also finds the duo’s banter in whip-cracking form, whether Siegal is claiming to be the mayor of Hoogland, or Mathus is wryly reminding us that he’s still very much alive. Siegal and Mathus are undeniably stellar live musicians, racing through a set list that airs a fistful of classics from their respective catalogs, as well as some rip-it-up reboots of old standards.
This album is available directly from Nugene or from leading online and street-level stores.