The Waifs: Donna Simpson, Vikki Simpson (vocals); Josh Cunningham (guitar).
The Waifs: Vikki Simpson (vocals, guitar, whistle, harmonica); Donna Simpson (vocals, guitar, percussion); Josh Cunningham (guitar, mandola).
The debut album from Australia's the Waifs is a more than adequate stab at troubadour folk and acoustic pop. "Gillian," with a similar structure and tone to Texas legend Townes Van Zandt, exemplifies how basic harmonies and deft lyrics can put a smile on many faces. Donna Simpson and her lush voice on "Sunflower Man" are stellar, particularly with the addition of harmonica and mandola. In some instances, the band is guilty of what can be termed funk folk, a style all too often used with little to no benefit on a tune such as "Jealousy." A few styles are dabbled in, with positive end results. "Crazy Train" is similar to Jimmie Rodgers, while the quirky yet amusing "Billy Jones" has few flaws. There is also a rawness and moodiness, but the band obviously doesn't take themselves too seriously, if "Waif Song" is any indication. An extremely engaging and entertaining affair. ~ Jason MacNeil