Album Review | Self Release | Review by Allan Wilkinson | Stars: 4/5
Those already familiar with the music of Dave McGraw and Mandy Fer will know that it would be a difficult musical partnership to improve upon. Both are excellent songwriters, singers and musicians, perfectly matched in terms of musical harmony, yet with the addition of bassist Thom Lord, the dynamic has been significantly changed, enabling Dave to explore the rhythms from the vantage of the drummer’s seat, which in turn allows Mandy to stretch out further, bringing her distinctive guitar playing much more to the fore; a much fuller sound, courtesy of a classic power trio format.
Soulful, funky and melodic throughout, the songs on Sway Wild’s debut self-titled album are further enhanced by the contribution of friends Alison Russell and JT Nero of Birds of Chicago on the opener “Comin’ and Goin'” and then again on the infectious “Chimney Fire”, complete with its memorable hook and odd expletive. Fearless in their delivery, Sway Wild approach such songs as “‘Til the Honey Come” with energetic verve, Mandy’s almost sneering guitar licks in direct competition with the horn section. Vocally, Mandy excels on “Impatient”, with an utterly soulful performance, enhanced further by Dave’s intuitive harmonies.
Choice Track: “Chimney Fire” (NSV 488)