Video premiere: Wayward Jane “Little Satchel”

Credit: Graham Coe

Edinburgh-based Wayward Jane’s music is a modern, transatlantic interpretation of American folk and old-time traditions, blending roots music with fresh arrangements and original compositions, and we’re delighted today to be premiering the new video for their song ‘Little Satchel’. The band’s rich sound features fiddle, clawhammer banjo, double bass, guitar, wooden flute and close vocal harmony, their live shows having a joyful energy, expressing the fine musicianship and playful chemistry of the band members with material ranging in mood from high-octane tunes to tender and soulful songs. Wayward Jane tend to leave audiences with a glow in their hearts.

Wayward Jane’s Rachel Petyt told us: “‘Little Satchel’, first recorded and released by Fred Cockerham, is a gentle, rolling song adapted from the traditional ‘Katie Dear’. It follows the lament of a man remembering an old lost love whom he wishes he could see. As the song goes, we realise that the man is, in fact, in prison, and dreaming of being free so he might be with his true love. We decided to laden this number with picked guitar, banjo and fiddle strings. A fast-picked, deft acoustic guitar solo emerges halfway through from Dan, and all four of us contribute vocals on the choruses. It was a fun one to record in the studio and one which we very much played live – with that many strings, it was important to lock in with each other and play tight together.”

The song is taken from ‘The Flood’, the third album from the band. Captured at Heriot Toun in the Scottish Borders, the record is a collection of mostly original songs and tunes, which are at once familiar and comforting but also don’t belong to any one musical genre. There are strong influences from American folk, old-time and the world of thumbdriven acoustic guitar but it is also clearly a recording made by musicians who have come up through the UK/Scottish traditional folk music scene.

Wayward Jane is Dan Abrahams (guitar, double bass, vocals), Sam Gillespie (vocals, guitar, wooden flute), Rachel Petyt (fiddle, vocals) and Michael Starkey (5-string banjo, guitar, vocals, in fact the lead vocals on this track). Each member brings a diverse range of influence and experience to create the band’s distinctive sound. Dan is a multi-instrumentalist and sought-after composer/arranger working in an impressive variety of musical contexts. His other projects include folk genre-busters Dowally and soul-funk powerhouse The Foo Birds. Sam is one-half of the celebrated Northumbrian folk troubadours The Brothers Gillespie. He is known for his delicate acoustic guitar/wooden flute playing and soaring, vibrato-inflected singing. Rachel is the other creative force behind Dowally and a firmly established fixture of the Edinburgh session scene. She has a totally unique fiddle sound, blending stylistic elements of Scottish folk, gypsy jazz acrobatics and old-time grit. Michael brings a love of American string band music and infectious clawhammer banjo syncopation. He also plays/records as part of critically acclaimed old-time duo Hannah Read & Michael Starkey.

Catch Wayward Jane during September at a town near you:

Sat 9 Sep – Edinburgh – Scottish Storytelling Centre
Sun 10 Sep – Smailholm, nr. Kelso – Smailholm Village Hall
Thu 14 Sep – Manchester Ramona
Fri 15 Sep –  Stony Stratford, Milton Keynes, Song Loft at The York House Centre
Sat 16 Sep – London – Green Note
Sun 17 Sep – Sheffield   –  Cafe #9

About Mark Whitfield 2031 Articles
Editor of Americana UK website, the UK's leading home for americana news and reviews since 2001 (when life was simpler, at least for the first 253 days)
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