The Cedars

The Cedars

 London, England, GBR
BandAmericanaFolk

A London, UK based 4-piece playing infectious stomping rhythms with a mournful female vocal and a mean dose of banjo and slide guitar, conjuring up scenes of dusty crossroads and cracked river beds so vivid that your throat gets dry just listening to them.

Biography

BACKGROUND:
The Cedars formed in April 2004 in London, UK by Jason Moffat and Chantal Hill and performed as a duo until the beginning of January 2006 when Pedro Vidal and Stephen Coates joined The Cedars to make it a 4-piece.

CAREER TO DATE:
We've played over 80 shows in the last 18 months and have been fortunate to play some fine venues including the Jazz Cafe, The Luminaire, Bush Hall, Cargo, The Borderline, The Pigalle Club, and several fine festivals including:

Reading Festival
Glastonbury Festival
The Secret Garden Party
Stokefest
Trowbridge
and AFF...

We're proudly part of the Strummerville Foundation who supports charities through music, set up by the family of Joe Strummer.

GENRE, INFLUENCES AND APPROACH:
We play what can be loosely termed as Americana, although there has never been any conscious decision of following a specific genre, we're not particularity traditional although there are English and Scottish roots along with the melting pot of styles each individual member brings. We particularly admire the early years of American blues and folk musicians like Leadbelly, Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday and others of their time, we like the immediacy of these early recordings which captured the soul of the performance. A key part of our approach is in how we record and write our music, we don’t spend hours on end crafting our songs, it's a fairly immediate thing, additionally we record the core of a song live, including the vocal. We feel this retains the intimacy of a performance and acts as a real record of musicians playing together. This translates well to our live shows, where we've been well received by a wide cross section of audiences, from rock/indie dominated festivals to folk, country and blues shows.

Our first first review, shortly after we became a 4 piece, seems to sum us up nicely:

"Songs of jilted love and distant lovers are spiked with south-of-the-border traveling imagery and conjure up scenes of dusty crossroads and cracked river beds so vivid that your throat gets dry just listening to it. Even in a dark and smoke-filled basement, it's impossible not to get carried on these big tunes of the Big Sky Country that are somehow both melancholy and uplifting."

REVIEW EXTRACT:
Music Mart December 2006
Shuffling, rootsy Americana 'n Country offset nicely by singer Chantal's beautifully silky, lilting voice - singing songs about "dirt and shame in that stony ground". Live the band take on a more raucous feel, like the soundtrack to a wild, liquor-fuelled hoe-down.

...They're very clearly a class act; there are a whole raft of signed bands unfit to lick the shiny boots of The Cedars"

Lyrics

The Colour

Written By: Chantal Hill, arr Moffat/Hill

My lover has gone far away,
cross the blue horizon.
Left my heartÕs flag here to sway,
a wound to gather poison.
Said heÕd send me somethin back,
down the jagged range,
but IÕm the Queen they dealt his Jack,
some things never change.

Bought a pitch and staked his claim,
stretched the wire round
Pray thereÕs more than dirt and shame
in that stony ground.
The water rushes thin and clear
back here on the plains,
pray heÕll find the colour
to repay me for my pains.

Lover, wonÕt you come on home
cross this dusty land?
DonÕt care if all youÕve got to show
is nothin in your hand.
I miss your tender weary eyes,
your hungry travellin heart,
give all the gold in China
that we may never part.

AinÕt no colour in the mountains,
ainÕt no colour in the sea,
ainÕt no colour in the riverbed,
no colour for you and me.

Extrication Row

Written By: Chantal Hill, arr Moffat/Hill/Vidal/Coates

l drank all the beer in your parlour,
ate all the honey in your jar,
took a hundred dollar bill from your coffee can,
drove away in your brand new car.

DonÕt you send the state cars for me,
you donÕt even know my name.
All I ever wanted was to be free,
no trouble, no blues, no blame.

Well, baby, I shoulda told you
a long long time ago,
wherever I come from I always finish up
on Extrication Row

Think a gold band gonna hold me,
think a veil gonna tie me down?
IÕm married to the darkening highway,
left a trail of dust in every town.

Once saw a bird on a millblade,
high above the black tree fern,
but he flew away as soon as the wind blew,
and them arms began to turn

Well, baby, I shoulda told you
a long long time ago,
wherever I come from I always finish up
on Extrication Row

Now baby donÕt you fret so plaintive,
donÕt you know that leavin ainÕt no crime?
I might not have given you my heart, but
I gave you a grand ole time

And if you stand out on your front porch,
look out of your window now and then,
you might see me on the horizon
if IÕm passin through here againÉ
Ê
Well, baby, I shoulda told you
a long long time ago,
wherever I come from I always finish up
on Extrication Row

Ten Gallon Mile

Written By: Chantal Hill, arr Moffat/Hill

Ten years waitin in a dust-bowl town
for my gamblerÕs luck to come around,
said to my demons, come follow me down,
Ten Gallon Mile put my bones in the ground.

Saw you out walkin in the yellow sunshine,
Jack of Hearts stridin your invisible line,
desert rose bloomed in this heart of mine,
cold steel thorns all silver and fine.

Took you in cause brother, itÕd been a while,
fallin for you would be my heartÕs sore trial,
said, this Capulet collapses for your rhinestone smile,
kickin your heels down the Ten Gallon Mile.

Lonesome hearts are hungry for a human love,
I was hangin on your every breath,
thought your soul fit mine like a hand in a glove
but we were severed, my love, in death.

Cut you from the cross with my pearl-handled knife,
laid your hands across your chest.
The sherriffÕs court done taken your life,
the buzzardsÕll do the rest.

When that dark day of JudgementÕs finally here
I wonÕt fly up with the angels to the cold blue air,
just come to the crossroads and IÕll be there:
the girl with the ribbons in her long red hair.

Ten years waitin in a dust-bowl town
for my gamblerÕs luck to come around,
said to my demons, come follow me down,
Ten Gallon Mile put my bones in the ground.

Discography

Our debut Album 'Little Copper Still', recorded in California, USA, is mixed, mastered and ready for a home - currently looking for Publisher and Label. It was produced by Ian Brennan who has produced some fine albums, most notably Ramblin' Jack Elliott's album 'I Stand Alone' on Anti Records.

Live Studio Sessions (2006/7), has received Radio play here in the UK and various countries in the rest for Europe, USA and Australia.

Live Radio Session (BFBS2)

Set List

Choke Chain
Heart of Rags
Blood & Wine
Extrication Row
Letter to a Lover
Old Ma Truly
In The Darkness
Lovers Reel
Phoenix
Needle
Choke Cherry Blues
Cinder Path
Ten Gallon Mile
Withering Pines
Dead Man Walking
The Colour

Encores
---------
Stomp Down Rider
No God Blues
Annie