James Yorkston and The Second Hand Orchestra release The Wide, Wide River on Domino. The album came to be after the blossoming of a long-term friendship between James Yorkston and Karl-Jonas Winqvist, the Swedish music producer, leader and conductor of The Second Hand Orchestra.
That communal feeling is apparent across the entire album. Recorded and mixed in Sweden over the course of three days with a selection of musicians Winqvist had brought together, including Peter Morén (Peter, Bjorn and John), Cecilia Österholm (one of Sweden’s best-known nyckelharpa players), Emma Nordenstam (piano and cello) and Ulrika Gyllenberg (violin). The studio approach with The Second Hand Orchestra was entirely improvised around Yorkston’s songs, and the only song they heard in advance was Ella Mary Leather; Yorkston didn’t want to direct anyone too much but instead, allowed for a welcoming, instinctive, free-spirited and joyful atmosphere. The Wide, Wide River is a soothing, warm and sublime listen, whilst also highlighting Yorkston’s skills for songwriting, collaboration and as a musical conductor. The record takes in past loves, advancing age and friends, now gone, whilst also containing some of the most sanguine songs Yorkston has ever made.
The Wide, Wide River is James’ tenth album for Domino, not to mention his three albums as part of Yorkston / Thorne / Khan and his two books.
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