Sons of the Never Wrong

One If by Hand

by Courtney King


If folk-music is what you long for, look no further and take a listen to the Sons of the Never Wrong, which consists of Sue Demel, Deborah Lader, and Bruce Roper. That of course would be two gals and a guy, and what a group. Not your everyday folkies, the Sons of the Never Wrong seem to break new ground with their youthful wit that seethes through every song. They have even been dubbed “the future of folk music,” by Grammy winner Harry Waller.

Roper, who carries the lead with authority as he tells story after story, of the ways and means of life. While he sings, tells stories, or makes a quirky statement, Lader and Demel weave and wind their majestic voices until they all intertwine. This intervention is a blessed union of spirit, soul, and harmonious succulence. The members switch their instruments throughout the album with Roper on guitar and keyboard; Lader on guitar, banjo, mandolin, and spoons; Demel rounds the trio out as she takes command of guitar and strumstick.

As if they were old friends welcoming you in from the cold, One If by Hand begins with the trio taking turns singing “Hello, Hello, Hello.” Together they finish their greetings and continue on to tell a story about Madame Butterfly, which is also the title of the song. The album is filled out with a wide range of instruments including, congas, latin percussion, cello, jaw harp, electric guitar, saxophone, flute, bass, and a washboard thang.

The third track “Jonah,” is something from beyond. A tribal-folky number, with hand drums and the trio’s voices singing, chanting, and belting out the notes. “God is everyday gonna be like this / In the belly of a big, big fish.” Well if your in the belly of a big fish with a sound system playing this cd, you will be very happy.

The Sons of the Never Wrong are a different breed of musicians, well maybe not a different breed, but certainly at the top of their field. They are introspective, charming storytellers that seem to use their talents to cleanse their souls. They expel a purely natural energy that makes one wonder, “How do they do it?” At the least they are natural talent that skips hand in hand with sensational musicianship.

I said they were witty, right? Well of course since they begin the album with a big warm welcome, they could not refuse to end with a sweet tune doted “Sleeping Bag.” The trio at the end of the song, in turn sing “Say goodnight, say goodnight yeah / Goodnight say you and me.” A charming band with the courtesy to welcome the listener in, and send them out with a friendly goodnight wish.

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