Home Rock Music Jim Ghedi & Toby Hay – Jim Ghedi & Toby Hay

Jim Ghedi & Toby Hay – Jim Ghedi & Toby Hay

Jim Ghedi & Toby Hay – Jim Ghedi & Toby Hay


The Hawksworth Grove Periods (2018) marked the primary studio collaboration between Jim Ghedi and Toby Hay, their weeks of touring as a duo spilling over into an beautiful set of fingerstyle instrumentals loosely knowledgeable by group, custom and place. The follow-up was initially earmarked for 2020, however, like virtually the whole lot else, was thwarted by the pandemic.

Each males subsequently threw themselves into different initiatives. Sheffield’s Ghedi expanded his attain with In The Furrows Of Widespread Place, fronting a four-piece band and supplementing his agile guitar-playing with vocals that always served as an allusive commentary on the travails of modern-day Britain.

Within the Welsh market city of Rhayader, 170-odd miles to the south-west, Hay received busy with a few solo works, drawing shade and sustenance from the rolling seasons and the ability of the pure panorama round him. He made plenty of music throughout lockdown, but craved collaboration. Electrical and acoustic bassist Aidan Thorne dropped by in the summertime of 2021 to conspire on After The Pause, due quickly on Hay’s personal Cambrian label. But it surely wasn’t till early final 12 months that he and Ghedi lastly managed to reconnect.

Over the course of three days at Large Wafer Studios in mid-Wales, Ghedi and Hay (the previous on six-string; the latter on 12-string) recorded collectively, spontaneously, with no edits or overdubs. The upshot is a fabulously alive, natural work brimming with vigour and verve. Every participant is a virtuoso, although pliable and delicate sufficient to weave in and across the different’s house, whorls of notes encircling rolling motifs, dispersing and returning at will.

“Seasoned By The Storm” feels suitably elemental, a nimble guitar determine buffeted by repeated strikes of the bass strings, like waves lashing rock. A gradual drone retains the track moored to its centre, earlier than loosening its grip and speeding towards an pressing finale, Ghedi and Hay lastly locked in hydrous rhythm. The identical urgent sense of discovery drives “Skeleton Dance”. Devised totally on the spot, it rings with an virtually savage physicality, channelling what Hay refers to as a “barely darkish, chaotic power”.

Different songs look like extra thought of. “Moss Flower” is roomier, pastoral in tone, slightly softer too, not less than to start with. Its gentle melody finally grows legs, picks up apace and turns into deeply intense. Equally, the contemplative “Bridget Cruise third Air” (initially by Irishman Turlough O’Carolan, a blind Seventeenth-century Celtic harp participant) is a beautiful succession of round flurries that rise and subside like leaves in a present. It’s certainly one of two covers right here, the opposite being Welsh lullaby “Suo Gân”. Relationship again over 200 years, it’s a meditative, swish piece, Ghedi and Hay feeling their method by way of it in a method that implies an intimate understanding of the supply materials, whereas, in components, bringing to thoughts the mournful drift of Marijohn Wilkin’s “Lengthy Black Veil”.

This instinctive capability to find the emotional coronary heart of those compositions is a continuing all through. The softly cascading, raga-like “Swale Tune” salutes the majesty of the quick flowing North Yorkshire river of its title, plus attendant valleys and waterfalls. But it surely can be taken as a bitter protest in opposition to neglect and abject company failure, arriving at a time when Britain’s rivers and waterways are routinely used as helpful sewage dumps.

Hay wrote “With The Morning Hills Behind You” for his late grandmother. It’s a considerate, intuitive piece, one which begins like a quiet examine in grief, however then strikes someplace altogether extra celebratory and joyful, a life measured in unchained chords and shifting cadence. The closing “Gylfinir” is one other track for a departed soul misplaced in the course of the pandemic. Written in tribute to mutual good friend Keith How – artist, author, musician, bookshop proprietor, vinyl fanatic and an unstinting champion of each males (he seems within the video to Ghedi’s “Beneath The Willow”) – it takes time to open out, the pair guarded at first, permitting notes to hold within the stillness. Lastly it blossoms into vividly articulate colors and transforms itself right into a lustrous type of daleside reel, as if acknowledging a kindred spirit. Given the context, the music is each transferring and intoxicating.

It appears totally becoming that this album arrives through Matter, the good bastion of homegrown people music that’s housed everybody from Shirley Collins, Martin Carthy and The Watersons to Nic Jones, June Tabor and Martin Simpson. And nor are these two younger guitarists unduly flattered by such firm. Slightly, Jim Ghedi & Toby Hay seems like a kinetic a part of a rising continuum.



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