CD Review: Elemental – The Wildwood Ruminators of Muscle Shoals, Ala.
Muscle Shoals singer songwriter Eddie Martin put together a trio in 2011 with Tony Lee (formerly of the Celtic band The Full Moon Ensemble) and John Jackson (formerly of the punk-rock band Jessica’s Mistake) to form the band The Wildwood Ruminators. The trio produced their first self-titled album in March of 2011, and in June, added singer songwriter and drummer Malcolm Singleton, and bass player, Bill Williams to the band. The band really gelled well together and they began to work on songs for The Wildwood Ruminators, second album, Elemental.
Elemental almost didn’t get completed because, in October of 2011, lead singer Martin was almost killed in a traffic accident. Because Martin went through a long recovery, he and The Wildwood Ruminators would not perform again until March of 2012. The band continued to write and record and Elemental was released in March of this year. The CD is full of raw emotion and songs stolen from real-life experiences. The songs truly show the songwriting talent of Lee, Martin and Jackson. It’s the type of sound that one does not get enough of and therefore, you’ll keep playing it over and over.
One of my favorite songs on the album is Reckless Lies, a rock tune, written by Martin and Lee. The song talks about “love gone bad, break-up and bitterness.” The band also pays tribute to the victims of the April 2011 tornadoes with the song After the Storm. The area around Northwest Ala., was badly hit, and in fact, Hackelburg, Ala., just a few miles south of Muscle Shoals, was one of the most devastated towns in Ala. Finally, the song Bells and Whistles offers the listener a ‘Road House Blues’ sound that you can dance to. The Wildwood Ruminators added a number of guest musicians to this second album including: keyboardist Kelvin Wooten, banjo player Scooter Muse, percussionist, Daniel Beard and guitarist Barry Billings.
The Wildwood Ruminators may be a little known band in other parts of the country, but they are one that you definitely should get to know.