Bruce Rits Gilbert

Song 16 - - The Deep Dark Woods

Talk about a spot-on name. I mean, seriously, this group is deep and totally dark. Songs with titles like My Baby's Got To Pay the Rent, The Place I Left Behind, The Gallows, The Sun Never Shines, and Mary's Gone pretty much tell their story. You know, lots of death and dispare. Deep. Dark. 

I stumbled on this group many years ago, and they quickly became a "must buy every record that they ever recorded" group for me. Some songs, like Dear John (which, of course, is about death and dispare, with lyrics like "If she's not back before the end of Autumn, then I'll leave it in your gripping hands my fate"), I find myself listening to over and over again. Still. Years later. And one, All the Money I Had Is Gone, became an anthem when paying for, ahem, Emily's wedding. 

The group is from Saskatoon in Western Canada. The lead singer and main songwriter is Ryan Boldt. I don't know if he's deep and dark always, but he sure is in his music. And he seems that way on stage, too. The group also includes a very talented bass player (who also sings harmony on many of the group's songs), Chris Mason; lead guitarist, Clayton Linthicum; keyboardist, Geoff Hilhorst; and drummer Lucas Goetz (who also sings harmony). As I write this, the group's website shows no upcoming shows, and last year they didn't tour at all (although Ryan Boldt did a solo tour). So I have no idea if they're still a group or not. But maybe (hopefully) they're just on hiatus. 

I saw the group once when they appeared in a sparcely attended show on the upstairs stage at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia. They didn't play Dear John, but they did play a great set of deep and dark tunes, including my other favorite Deep Dark Woods song, Two Time Loser, which is, of course, deep and dark, especially when they play it more like a ballad (although the studio recording is an uptempo deep and dark song). 

So here are two versions of Two Time Loser, this one which is deeper and darker, and this one which is more of an epic rocker

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