Willard Grant Conspiracy Regard the End

Formed in 1995, the Willard Grant Conspiracy sound like a young Tom Waits meets an aging Johnny Cash. Band founder and front-man Robert Fisher’s baritone vocals help to create the melancholic mood evoked throughout Regard the End — a contemplative alt-country journey marked by tales of death, loneliness and suffering. The WGC is a rotating collective of musicians that have 31 members scattered throughout the world. For Regard the End — its fifth full-length album — the group features 11 musicians, plus seven guests, including the Throwing Muses’ Kristen Hersh, who sings the ghost’s part on the sombre "Ghost of the Girl in the Well.” "Soft Hand” is a tender track that was featured in Stuck On You. Here, Blake Hazard and Jess Klein add harmony. Traditional songs are combined with Fisher originals to produce a varied listen that features rich instrumentation. "River in the Pines” — a song first recorded in 1865 — is one of these traditional tales that epitomises Fisher’s ethos of recreating long lost folk tales and bringing them to a new generation. The most powerful song by far is another traditional reworking: "Another Man is Gone.” (Kimchee)