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Audio CD, March 4, 2008
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Pony 3:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. sundirtwater 3:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Vermillion 3:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. How many miles 4:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Without you 4:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Sad Sailor Song 2:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Get me Some 3:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Eternity 2:59$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Sweetest Dream 3:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Goodbye 3:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Stay 2:30$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Love Let me Down 5:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Feeling Sentimental 2:51$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 4, 2008)
  • Original Release Date: 2008
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Alliance
  • ASIN: B0012IWIGI
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,576 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Sun Dirt Water is an album born of time and distance. The geographic space between singer-songwriters Donna Simpson, Vikki Thorn and Josh Cunningham, and the long hiatus since their last studio triumph, Up All Night, created a kind of vacuum that these new songs could hardly wait to fill.

We had more songs to choose from than we ve ever had, says Josh. We ended up recording 21 or 22, so the hardest part by far was working out what to leave out and what fit together, to give the fans something that has some unity and variety and still represents where we ve come to.

Vikki agrees. "This was by far the most difficult Waifs album, in terms of finding cohesion with our different songwriting styles. But for that reason I feel it's our most interesting and risky album to date."

It's Vikki who sets the bar with the title track. "Sun Dirt Water" is a worldly, seductive groove that meanders between styles with insouciant authority slinky jazz, elegant country, smoky blues and effortlessly nails what Josh calls "our finest recorded moment to date."

"I think the recording has a really great energy to it and the vocal is the best vocal on any Waifs record. It really sets the tone for the album for me cause it has that great, liberated energy and expression in it."

From the darkly evocative storytelling of Donna's "Vermillion" and "Sad Sailor Song" to Josh's upbeat country spiritual Eternity, this sense of liberation runs an exquisitely loose thread through the Waifs' fifth album.

The eerie introspection of "Love Let Me Down," the gleeful, organ-fuelled pop of Stay, the electric riff rock of "No Such Thing As Goodbye" and the old-time ukulele thrum of Sentimental are worlds apart stylistically, but they spring from the same well of timeless roots influences and an instinct for collaborative expression that only comes with years traveling the same road.

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Dave_42 on March 4, 2008
Format: Audio CD
"Sundirtwater" is the fifth album from The Waifs, a folk-rock band from Western Australia. Their resume is fairly impressive, with their double-platinum fourth album "Up All Night", and a tour with Bob Dylan both in Australia and North America. "Sundirtwater" is a fine addition to their discography as well, with a title track which has a jazzy groove which is as addictive as anything I have heard recently. There are also a dozen other tracks which may not have the same initial draw as "Sundirtwater", but all of which hold their own with repeated listening.

This is not a group trying to repeat their past successes, but one which is exploring their musical limits. Undoubtedly they will not shed the "Folk-Rock" label with this album, but the styles go far beyond that. It is by no means perfection, but it is a diverse collection which needs to be heard, warts and all. There is something to hear in each track, whether it is the story telling folk-rock of "Vermillion", the driving rock sound of "Sad Sailor Song", or the country sound of "Eternity", or the jazzy "Sundirtwater", or any of the tracks which stylistically fall somewhere in between.

The Waifs are Joshua Cunningham (vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, ukulele); Donna Simpson (vocals, acoustic guitar, percussion); Vikki Thom (vocals, harmonica, acoustic guitar); and with Ben Franz (electric & double bass); David Ross Macdonald (drums & percussion). Also on the album are Reese Wynans (hammond b3, piano, wurlitzer); Dan Dugmore (pedal steel, lap steel); Jeff Coffin (clarinet); Scat Springs(background vocals on tracks 2 & 9); Erick Jaskowiak (background vocals on track 8); and Garry West (hand claps on tracks 2 & 11).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Bauer on May 31, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Generally, an excellent album. I've just recently become a fan in the last 8 months or so - and when I learned they released this album I couldn't wait to own it. There are some excellent tracks - "Pony" is probably my favorite. Also enjoy "Eternity," and "How Many Miles." I did feel that track 11, "Stay" was a bit disjointed, and didn't relate well with the rest of the cd - but in the end, I adore the waifs and if you're a fan... you can't go wrong with this album ... on a whole, it's got a little of everything that makes them what we've come to love!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 19, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
OK, this is decent enough CD. The problem is that I LOVE everything else The Waifs have done. Their earlier material is exceptional. Folk with bits of rock, country, jazz, blended into a truly unique sound. Music that seems simple on the surface, but has surprising complexity below. Lyrics that actually tell storys, with insights that make one stop and think.

But that's the earlier stuff. This disk sounds perfunctory, as if no ones' heart was really in it but it was time to make a CD and earn some more money. It's not horrible, but it's horribly ordinary. A mish-mash of song styles, none of them the Waifs' own, and a bunch of ordinary pop-song-love-song lyrics. Yawn.

But if you're new to the Waifs, I heartily recommend any of their other CDs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Lyness on April 22, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I love this album; it's without a doubt one of my favorites of the past year. The Waifs continue to push themselves musically and to take chances, and it pays off beautifully. The mix of musical styles and genres is fascinating, and gives the album a kind of kaleidoscopic, White-Album effect. There's a sweetness to the material, and a soulfulness/sadness at the same time. Hard to single out one favorite song: "Sundirtwater", the title track, is haunting and unique; "Pony" is great rocking bluesy fun; "How Many Miles" and "Goodbye" are infectious anthems; "Sweetest Dream" is thrilling and features gorgeous gospel-style harmonies; "Eternity" is bouncy and catchy yet deeply heartfelt; and "Feeling Sentimental", the closing track, is a 1920s/30s-style song backed by a ukelele that is a lovely signature to the album. I've been enjoying this album for many months and am not remotely tired of it. A must-have for Waifs fans or for any lover of great soul/folk/pop music. Just buy it already! :)
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By LBG on May 2, 2008
Format: Audio CD
This has become my favorite Waifs studio album -- favorite overall album is their live album as I prefer live music over studio productions. I love how the album displays the range of styles the band can do well!

How Many Miles is my favorite song. You can't stop yourself from dancing (or at least tapping your foot along with the tune).

Sun Dirt Water has an amazing bass line

Get Me Some is a great mellow tune

Feeling Sentimental really showcases Vikki's voice as you can tell there is NO post production to clean it up. Trust me, her voice is really that good (Donna's too) as I just saw them live and they sounded exactly the same live as on the album. How many "artists" can pull that off??

To be honest, I am NOT a fan of folk as I find most of it boring, slow, and kind of depressing. The Waifs are something other than folk while still being folk, so it is fun for me and not boring. I just saw them live and they are AMAZING live, just so talented and tight!!

Try the album out and if you are a "hardcore" folk fan, give it 3-4 complete listens before you judge.
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