Review by Geoff Jenke
Thirty year old Will Stratton was born in California, raised in New Jersey and currently living in New York. He started recording his work while in high school before going on to study philosophy and music composition. Until now he had self released work and used small indie labels, including one in France. He is also a cancer survivor and the songs This Is What We Do and Ribbons on this release recount his time with the big C.
Will Stratton was signed to Bella Union after the labels boss, Simon Raymonde went online on a restless, sleepless night. Trawling the internet he came across Will’s last album Gray Lodge Wisdom around 4 am. Stratton was signed soon after.
Rosewood Almanac was named after Stratton’s pride and joy, his acoustic guitar. Stratton’s influences are Nick Drake, Richard Thompson, Bert Jansch and Bob Dylan to name of few. The sound on the album is brutally bare, quite often just him and a guitar with the barest of backing instruments. It’s the sound of folk heroes of the early sixties bought to a modern time and audience.
While some of the songs may talk of alienation, “circling crows” and aging, the music is simply a thing of beauty and quite magical.
Will has done a couple of low key tours of Europe and only a small mid western tour of America. With the release of this album on a major label, he is lined up for a nationwide US tour as well as a return to Europe.
Rosewood Almanac is ten songs in thirty four minutes that may just change your life or at least your musical taste. Like the time Raymonde discovered Will Stratton, this album would be enjoyed in the early hours of the morning or on a late Sunday morning after a wonderful evening the night before.
Enjoy it by yourself or share it with someone you love. It really is a thing of beauty.