Since releasing her first album in 2003, Zoe Mulford has established herself as a writer of contemporary folk songs with a grounding in traditional American, English, and Celtic music. "Coyote Wings" incorporates a wider range of sounds, showing the influence of contemporary songwriters like Richard Shindell and Suzanne Vega, slipping in a snatch of spoken word, and taking a few leaves from the Great American Songbook. The instrumentation includes drum kit, soprano sax, piano and clarinet as well as cello, viola, mandolin, cajon, and washboard.
The songs have the strong lyrics, vivid imagery, and offbeat subject matter Mulford's listeners have come to expect. Here are love songs for Wile E. Coyote, the Ocean City boardwalk in New Jersey, and the white line on a mountain road in central Pennsylvania. Here is a telephone conversation with a clarinet, a bus ride with an ex-con and an evangelist, and a wedding song for clowns.
The album's one cover, "No Moon At All," is a 1947 jazz standard recorded by artists including Mel Torme and Anita O'Day. Traditional music fans will enjoy "Sister, Sail," the story of a female pirate captain with a guest appearance by Irish multi-instrumentalist John Doyle.