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Jim Ghedi In the Furrows Of Common Place

On his latest release, Jim Ghedi searches a labyrinth of contemporary sociocultural struggles guided by his unique bond with history and heritage, returning with a voice of his own.

Released: 22 January 2021
In the Furrows Of Common Place

Hidden behind a veil of vocal nuance is a message vying for freedom. With warble and wail, the timbre of Ghedi’s voice reinforces the melancholic musings sown throughout In the Furrows Of Common Place. He sings of the disenfranchisement of the working classes, the right to roam and the waning vitality of tradition — concepts emotionally echoed by the grit in his vocal cords.

These time-worn themes of bygone ways, byways and better days may speak to an overt fondness for the past, but archaism is far from the point here. With the biotic poeticism of John Clare and Ed Pickford saddled alongside Ghedi’s own words, In the Furrows reads as a hopeful celebration of tradition’s survival-through-transmutation rather than a nostalgic lamentation of its downfall. ‘Son David’ sees traditional folksong repurposed in a modern setting, showcasing Ghedi’s penchant for transhistorical lyricism.

His compositional approach mirrors this, emulsifying rock-leaning drum rhythms with the anciency of earthy guitar and ancestral strings. Despite these glimmers of modernity, Ghedi is most at home among the wolves. The sonic slickness of his contemporaries, like Sam Lee, is bartered for a righteous primitivism. The resulting sound imitates the natural world of which he sings, harmonium conjuring a storm at sea on ‘The Lamentations of Round Oak Waters’ while his ensemble forms a bulwark in its wake.

In the Furrows is heavy without amplification, textural without melodic stagnation and culturally analytical without the condescension of political urgency. It's a necessary gateway to the hills at a time when leaving the front door is challenge enough.

Filed under: Jim Ghedi #folk