RON HARTMAN / THE CHRONICLE I Draw Slow performs at the Axe & Fiddle in Cottage Grove on Sunday, July 31. The band is from Dublin, Ireland.

COTTAGE GROVE – I Draw Slow, a folk band from Dublin, Ireland, ended their nine-stop tour by playing a show to remember at the Axe & Fiddle on Sunday night, July 31. 

By the end of the night, after an appreciative crowd summoned the band back onstage for an encore, practically the whole place was dancing an Irish jig as they played “Low Down Girl.” 

They made quite an impression, although as guitar player Dave Holden pointed out, “People think we’re an Irish band because we’re from Ireland, but we only play one Irish song.” 

Here’s what they do play: Genuine folk and original music. No covers. No pretentiousness. It’s music as a pure art form. Music is their life, and they’ve found a way to make their life be about their music, so everything intertwines. 

Lead singer and percussionist Louise Holden, who founded the band with younger brother Dave 12 years ago, said there’s an increased emphasis on trying to incorporate everyday life now into her songwriting. 

“We try to make this all more personal,” Louise said. “Because initially our influences were Appalachian music, and that had an influence on what we were doing earlier on. We leaned into the storytellers that came with murder ballads and that kind of character stories.

“This new album coming out in September, we were at home and locked down.  

We’ve had to be much more personal.”

That self-titled fifth album is due out soon. Their fourth album, Turn Your Face To The Sun, went straight to the top of the Irish Independent Album charts in 2018. As the band’s international popularity continued to skyrocket, they were invited to play at several prestigious festivals and music houses, including the Rockwood Music Hall NYC, High Sierra Music Festival and the Red Wing Music Festival. 

After Sunday’s night’s show at the Axe & Fiddle, the band was heading home for a break. Louise said it had been a wonderful trip, especially going up and down the West Coast. 

“This trip was the first time I got to see a lot of California – I’d been in Oregon and Washington before,” Louise said. “So I got a better sense of the West Coast. And the attitude and vibe is so cool.” 

Speaking of cool, I Draw Slow has a video from their second album, Redhills, called “Goldmine” that is well worth anybody’s 3 minutes and 26 seconds. 

Invest in this band. Whether that means time, money, emotional attachment, whatever … 

This is a group worth caring about. They care about you, too.