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Sloan Wainwright


Country of origin:

U.S.

Type of music generally:

Contemporary folk, folk/rock

Status:

Most recent release, Bright Side of a Rainy Day (2016)

See also:

The Official Sloan Wainwright page

Wikipedia's entry for Sloan Wainwright

CD Baby's page for Sloan Wainwright

Comparisons:

Mary Fahl of October Project

The closest comparison I can make is Annie Haslam and Renaissance: very stylized, artistic and (shall I say it?) progressive musical arrangements fronted by Sloan's classically trained (or at least that is how it sounds) voice. Should capably fill the void left by the break-up of October Project. (woj@smoe.org)

Covers/own material:

Mostly own material, a few well-chosen covers

General comments:

She's Loudon III's sister, but the connection ends there. Her voice is quite reminiscent of Mary Fahl of October Project, though there's a roughness to it that makes it even more intriguing. Everyone mourning the demise of October Project needed to run right out and buy her music. I think she sounds EXACTLY like Mary Fahl. Her music is pretty straight neo-folk band stuff, but interesting, and I definitely want to hear more. (meth@smoe.org)

Warm-hearted, passionate, with great promise. She is an incredible singer and writes some wonderful songs. (faucet@pipeline.com)

I got Sloan Wainwright's two albums and am really getting into her as well. She sounds at times like October Project (slightly more barebones), Suddenly Tammy!, others I can't put my finger on. My very fave so far of her songs is far and away "Guide", which I cannot get out of my mind. (mjmjminla@yahoo.com)

Comments about live performance:

I didn't really know what to make of Sloan Wainwright at first, but after a song or too, I decided I really liked her. She has a deep, husky gospel-style voice, but sings with that well-mannered style I associate with a lot of training, or sometime the English folk tradition. Sorta like how Emily Bezar sings, though there was little other relationship beside the phrasing. Some of the way she sang also put me in mind of the October Project (though her voice sounds nothing like Mary Fahl's—interesting that we think she sounds exactly like/nothing like Mary Fahl). (c. 1999)
     Last night was a wonderful show by Sloan Wainwright. She performed as a trio with Cadence Carol providing beautiful backing vocals (as well as percussion) and Stephen Murphy on guitar. Heavy emphasis on the new album, a few covers (Phil Ochs' "There But For Fortune" and something I should remember by George Harrison.) There were a handful of brand new songs too. Sloan was in good spirits and joyful and funny. It was a great show. (4/04, neal)

I saw Sloan Wainwright and band at the 1996 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival marveled at how they seemed to be the folkier October Project. (paul2k@aol.com)

Sloan's deep rich voice had me in a trance. If ever you have a chance to see her perform, don't pass it up. (6/99, jjh969@juno.com)

She's really, really great in live performance. And she's a wonderful person, too!
     Sloan was accompanied by guitarist/co-writer Steven Murphy and vocalist Liadain Clancy. Sloan and Liadain had no problem whatsoever filling the Neffs' 18th-century shed with their gorgeous voices. As woj noted afterwards, it's almost scary how well their voices blend together. Sloan performed quite a few new songs, from the album she's currently working on—all were good, and very much in line with the sort of thing she's done on her first two albums. She mentioned that she's doing more of a "rock thing" with this one, which is very intriguing. (c. 1999)
     Last night, Sloan Wainwright and her band played at the Acoustic Cafe. They did two solid sets of great stuff, both old and new tunes and some holiday music as well. They've been in the studio recording a new album, and if the studio versions of the full-band songs we heard last night are any indication, it's going to be killer. What I particularly liked was that the new songs really gave Liadain Clancy, Sloan's backup singer. a chance to shine. She sounds like equal parts Sarah McLachlan and Joan Osborne (and kind of looks it, too), and she's amazing. Her voice mixes with Sloan's very well. Sloan herself was in fine voice, and I had a nice chat with her afterwards. She's got to be the nicest person in the music world. (12/00, meth@smoe.org)

I'd never heard Sloan Wainwright before, and judging from comparisons with October Project, I wasn't sure I was going to like her. Well, she got on stage and opened her mouth and two syllables later I was sold. It was like hearing a precursor to Happy's lower-register stuff, maybe with a little Mary Fahlishness to it too. The music was pretty straight folk, which I don't generally like, but this would be one of my exceptions. At the end of her set Susan McKeown came up and they did a duet that blew everyone away. For me it turned out to have been the high point of the whole show. Sloan Wainwright was my big discovery for the day. (9/99, psfblair@ix.netcom.com)

Sloan Wainwright was someone I'd been hearing about on ecto for years. I once tried to listen to some RA samples of her music, and couldn't get a decent stream, and never got around to ordering her albums. Big mistake. She's got such a wonderful voice (I don't understand why everyone used to compare her to October Project...she's got this definite Mary Fahl thing going (er...Mary Fahl has this definite Sloan Wainwright thing going. Let's keep our chronology straight)) and her songs were well matched. "I Eye the Lady" would have been the high point of her wonderful set if she hadn't dragged Susan McKeown out for their duet. That was just flabbergastingly wonderful. (9/99, burka@jeffrey.net)

Recommended first album:

Her self-titled debut, Sloan Wainwright

Recordings:


Sloan Wainwright

Release info:

1995—Waterbug Records

Availability:

See website for availability

Ecto priority:

Recommended for folk and folk-rock fans

Group members:

Sloan Wainwright—vocals, piano

Comments:

This album is rather uneven, but when she's on, baby, she's on. Her cover of the Grateful Dead's "Box of Rain" is lightyears beyond the original, and on songs like "Unseen Guide" and "Daddy's Water" she and her band provide the perfect answer to those mourning the loss of October Project. (meth@smoe.org)

It probably goes without saying, but if you don't have it yet, get thee to the record store (or an on-line equivalent) and pick up Sloan Wainwright's self-titled release.
     Sloan's voice is the best known cure for Mary Fahl withdrawal and the music isn't altogether dissimilar from October Project, either. "Box of Rain" is instantly addictive and what gets the airplay locally (yes, that "Box of Rain"—see, nothing against singers doing other peoples' material ;) ) (rjk1@cs.wustl.edu)


From Where You Are

Release info:

1998—Waterbug Records

Availability:

See website for availability

Ecto priority:

Recommended for folk and folk-rock fans

Group members:

Sloan Wainwright—vocals and piano

Guest artists:

Include Loudon Wainwright III on guitar and vocals on the song, "Don't Go".

Comments:

On the first few listens this is pretty good stuff. Nothing instantly grabbing like "Hey Girl" or her stunning cover of "Box Of Rain" from Sloan Wainwright, but it's eminently listenable all the way through. The band sounds like October Project now more than ever. (meth@smoe.org)

The Song Inside

Release info:

2001—Waterbug Records—Farkie CD-2

Availability:

See website for availability

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Sloan Wainwright—lead vocals

Guest artists:

Liadain Clancy—vocals
Stephen Murphy—acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin
Cary Brown—piano, synthesizers, hammond organ
Doug Wray—four- and five-string electric basses
Joe Bonadio—drums, percussion
Tim Beattie—harmonica
David Mansfield—violin
Michelle Kinney—cello
Dennis Yerry—native American flutes, vocals

Produced by:

Stephen Murphy and Sloan Wainwright

Comments:

I just got this a couple days before I left town for the holidays, and I haven't even had a chance to sit and listen to the whole thing in one sitting—but I've heard every track at least three times, and that's enough to know that this album deserves to round out the year's top 3. Finally, Sloan has gathered the wherewithal to put together a CD that accurately captures her music at its best. Simply put: this album kicks *major* ass. Bluesy, rocking, driving, gorgeous...and everywhere there's Sloan's rich, powerful voice. Liadain Clancy provides the perfect backing vocals (sometimes she sounds so much like Happy in her upper range, it's scary), and the instrumentation, from Sloan's brilliant live band is great. Fans of October Project, as well as '60s-flavored bluesy rock absolutely need to have this in their collection. (meth@smoe.org)

Cool Morning

Release info:

2003—Waterbug Records

Availability:

See website for availability

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Sloan Wainwright—lead vocals

Guest artists:

David Sancious—piano
Jeff Allen—bass
John Patitucci—jazz bass
Joe Bonadio—drums

Produced by:

Joe Bonadio

Comments:

Much mellower and lower-key than her previous releases, but no less lovely for that. I would expect that the Mary Fahl fans should eat this one up (I've heard Mary Fahl's new one and it really did nothing for me—I'd much rather listen to Sloan instead). (meth@smoe.org)

On a Night Before Christmas

Sloan Wainwright and Friends

Release info:

2005—Derby Disc Music—7 83707 21200 5

Availability:

See website, CDBaby

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Sloan Wainwright—lead and backing vocals

Guest artists:

Stephen Murphy—guitar, electric guitars, high strung guitar, acoustic guitar, ebo
Cary Brown—keyboards, synth keyboards, loop, piano, acoustic piano, backing vocals
Doug Wray—bass
Tony Zuzulo—drums, percussion
Cadence Carroll—vocals and acoustic guitar (10), backing vocals
Penny Nichols—backing vocals
The Kennedys—tracks 5, 12
Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams—tracks 7, 12
Sharkey McEwen—electric guitar
Pete Kennedy (The Kennedys)—electric sitar Marcia Clark—track 13
Joziah Longo—track 13
The Sloan Wainwright Band—tracks 12, 13

Produced by:

Stephen Murphy, Sloan Wainwright

Comments:

I've never been to Sloan Wainwright's annual holiday show, but this album makes me feel like I'm right there. I think it's because the joy and energy among Sloan and her invited guests really shines through on this recording; they sound like they're having so much fun. There's a great selection of traditional and contemporary songs, including 2 originals by Sloan (1 new, 1 previously recorded), and they mix things up by having different combinations of performers for different songs. A truly celebratory album to enjoy the holiday season with. (JoAnn Whetsell)


Thanks to Paul Blair, JoAnn Whetsell, and Marisa Wood for work on this entry.

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Entry last updated 2017-06-11 19:53:09.
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