Jon Budworth is a man of contradictions: a son of Lancashire who now lives in Yorkshire; a former rock’n’roller who discovered the joys of the acoustic guitar via Richard Thompson and became a singer-songwriter. The first impression of his debut full-length album, We All Share The Same Sky, is that it rocks along very nicely indeed.
Jon is a fine fingerpicking guitarist and his weapon of choice is the amplified acoustic – very amplified, in fact – and in some ways what he does with it reminds me a bit of John Martyn without really sounding like him. There’s uncompromising attack in his playing even on the instrumental ‘Jon’s Jig’ and the traditional ‘Rosebuds In June’, a fine arrangement with overdubbed harmony vocals.
The first two tracks are songs we can all relate to. ‘Waiting For The Lightning’ is about being on the downward spiral and knowing that you have to hit bottom before things get better and ‘Lighthouse Keeper’ is about the hankering, even briefly, for a simpler life. As an insomniac I can really get alongside ‘3am’. ‘Hill View’ and ‘The Great Escaper’ tell stories. I particularly like the latter which tells of an 89 year old veteran who slipped away to France to join the D-Day commemorations. ‘Dusty Roads’ imagines a love story during the English Civil War – apparently there were several battles around the Wigan area.
We All Share The Same Sky certainly speeds by. Jon plays most of the instruments with Bernard Cromarty and Phil Snell each contributing to one track and Wendy Ross adding violin to four others. Jon’s skill and drive is the dominant factor, however, and this is a record that promises much for the future.
Artist’s website: www.jonbudworth.co.uk
‘Hill View’ – live: