Eagerly anticipated new solo album from much travelled singer-songwriter Gareth Davies-Jones
Recorded at The Foundry Music Lab in Motherwell, Scotland, Gareth brings some 10 years of professional songwriting and touring experience to this fine collection of completely original songs. Laced with his trademark vocal style, strong sense of melody and perceptive lyrics this is an impressive return to the kind of form that saw former album “Water & Light” hit the air-waves in force in 2008/9.
There is a rich variety of instrumentation on this album too. The mandocello, acoustic guitar, tenor guitar, mandolin, twelve string guitar, banjo and piano all appear – all played by the artist.
Joining Gareth on the recording and with an impressive studio debut on backing vocals is his daughter Bronwen Davies-Jones. The way in which the harmonies effortlessly blend on tracks like “Hundred Year Skin” and “Montsoreau” lend plenty of credence to the idea that blood harmonies are among the most striking to be heard.
Professional since 2003, Irish-born singer-songwriter Gareth Davies-Jones has demonstrated an honesty, depth and passion with his beautifully arranged, evocative and challenging songs. Recognised by commentators as an established talent in the Troubadour tradition Gareth is a seasoned performer, activist and campaigner often using his music to promote social justice and working with organisations such as Traidcraft. With regular solo tours in the UK and Ireland his music has been featured on BBC National and Local Radio. Collaborations and support work includes Yvonne Lyon, Calum Stewart, Megson, Waterson Carthy, Spiers & Boden, Steve Tilston, Jez Lowe, Paul Field and Karine Polwart. Originally from County Down, Gareth now lives in the Tyne Valley in Northumberland.
Track 1- Dawn
Is what the title suggests – written after an extremely late drive back from a faraway gig. As I drove into our village the sun was just starting to rise…..
Track 2 – Hundred Year Skin
A collection of lines that have been frantically typed out on the phone at different times and in different locations over the past three years. Mostly a response to where I found myself at times – often at the extremities of the British Isles where I seem to book a disproportionate amount of gigs.
Track 3 – Montsoreau
A reflection on a beautiful afternoon spent with Nicki, whiling away the time at a picturesque riverside cafe in the village of the same name in the Loire Valley during June 2012.
Track 4 – Elusive
One of two songs that contain lyrics written in response to an artist project run by Tearfund in 2010. We were encouraged to go back to our communities and explore where we saw hints of ‘The Kingdom”.
Track 5 – Guide
A deconstructed hymn. I guess I was trying to draw out an on the ground response to some very rousing words.
Track 6 – One Girl Among Many
A tribute in song to Malala Yousafzai – the young girl who was shot by the Taliban for daring to go to school and assert that she and others like her had a right to learn. An inspiration and now living proof that the pen is far mightier than the sword.
Track 7 – Rua Reidh
My accommodation during May 2013 on a trip to the North West Highlands to sing for the Arctic veterans of the second world war. A stunning and beautifully located lighthouse at the tip of the peninsula that runs directly North West of Gairloch. The views from the light are so captivating that they could hardly be imagined.
Track 8 – New Deal
A treatise on the state we find ourselves in contemporary Britain.
Track 9 – Lindisfarne
In the summer of 2013 the Lindisfarne Gospels came back to North East England for the public to view them. The story of the creativity and dedication that led to the making of this iconic book caught my own imagination. Allegedly written by the monk Eadfrith on the islands of the same name just off the Northumberland coast, it’s an inspiring tale of invention, solitude and perseverance.
Track 10 – Messines
It’s 100 years in 2014 since the start of the First World War. The story of how a 22 tonne British mine from the battle of Messines Ridge in 1915 remains to this day buried and unexploded under a Belgian farm intrigued me greatly. The song contrasts the conditions then and the dilemma now. Last I heard the family that owns the farm still live and work there – in the full knowledge that at any moment their world could literally explode underneath them.
Track 11 – From Castlereagh
Ever since I was a small child I’ve been inspired and engaged by the writings of C.S.Lewis. He grew up in the Castlereagh Hills just above Belfast and less than 5 miles from my own place of birth. I continue to be challenged by and discover new things in his books.
Track 12 – Tear It All Down
The second song containing lyrics written in response to the Tearfund project. I like the idea of the transience of earthly powers and empires. One day even the strongest will fall and the weak and the marginalised will have their day.
Artist’s website: www.garethdavies-jones.com
“Very beautiful music. I can thoroughly recommend this…” Bob Harris, BBC Radio 2
“..intelligent songs which make a point gently and invoke sympathy……someone to be taken seriously” fROOTS
“Some artists often sing in the name of one cause or another without conviction, but that is not the case here. The legacy of well-written, descriptive music laid down by Woody Guthrie, still lives on here in the UK” Maverick Magazine (5 Stars)
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