Premieres New Album by Vandaveer

April 24, 2013

Vandaveer’s latest studio effort Oh, Willie, Please… is set for release on April 30. The alt-folk collective share a number of traditional murder-folk ballads on this recording, the fourth from the group. Here’s what Vandaveer’s Mark Charles Heidinger has to say about the material:

We’ve been asked at least a dozen times lately why we wanted to make an album full of murder ballads… Our first response was simply because we like them. These songs have been around for quite some time for good reason — they’re captivating, moving, compelling. And they’re historical. They tend to be a bit morbid, but so are most television crime dramas and a whole lot of what we see at the movies, so the subject matter wasn’t quite so shocking.

Some of these songs date back a few hundred years or more, and they served a very different purpose back then. They were news, in a way… they documented noteworthy events. They were cautionary tales for others to heed. The subject matter is dark and decidedly bleak, but I enjoy singing and listening to these songs. The stories and characters in Oh, Willie, Please… exist in the present tense during those moments. A good song can do that; it can suspend time. It just felt necessary and prudent to revisit these songs as students and practitioners of what we loosely call folk music. Recording and performing songs from the public domain is a little like checking out books from the library. They are valuable sources of information and inspiration, costing nothing but offering much.

Click here to listen to the premiere stream of Oh, Willie, Please….