Heirs & Graces is the debut album from Edinburgh singer-songwriter Adam Holmes and his band The Embers. Of course, The Embers includes Kris Drever and Southern Tenant Folk Union bassman, Alex Hunter, so this isn’t some studio pick-up outfit and the record was produced by John Wood, one of the few sound men celebrated in song.
Who’s who doesn’t really matter. This is a classy piece of work. It looks as though there’s a lot going on but the arrangements are the epitome of restraint – as if parts were worked out and then reduced by half. The production is similarly spare but everything gels. Key sounds are Steven Blake’s keys and Alan Train’s pedal steel but there are no ego trips and the music rolls and flows. That, and Adam’s languid delivery, is so reminiscent of John Martyn.
Then there are the songs. The opener, ‘Monday Morning’ is a lazy blues to settle the listener in but the best song is probably ‘Oh, My God’, a reflection on a man’s mortality set to a gorgeously simple tune. In fact, gorgeously simple is a perfect description of this album.
Artist’s website: www.adamholmesandtheembers.com
‘Monday Morning’ recorded live for Amazing Radio: