For those of you who don't recognise a Leeds road sign when you see one, this album was recorded in Leeds, a mere 40 minutes bus ride along River Aire from Norman Towers. Jim Ghedi and Toby Hay are both virtuoso acoustic guitarists, who together push the limits of British folk musics. The Hawksworth Grove Sessions is utterly overwhelming when at full swing.
LP £16.99 CAM013LP
LP on Cambrian Records.
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CD £11.99 CAM013CD
CD on Cambrian Records.
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Phenomenally perhaps, these incredibly pretty sounds were made in Leeds. A city known for it's concrete and ill-advised high rise towers has spawned some decent music in it's time but not much of it sounds as pretty as running water down a mountainside. If push comes to a shove my favourite Leeds sound is the noise the 4.56 train to Skipton makes as it pulls away from the station with me on it but with that a few hours away yet my ears are being teased by this album of sublime guitar intertwining.
Two fellers are responsible - Jim Ghedi plays 6 string guitar and Toby Hay nurses the 12 string. Together they semi improvise a series of delightful sun- dappled compositions that owe a lot to Michael Chapman's Train Song compilation. High water marks like 'Goat Fell' are deliciously rolling rural folk compositions, the notes splurging from the stereo like droplets of water. The two are perfectly in tune and entwined - one in ear left, one in ear right, they play a series of sprawling compositions that show a deep understanding of each others musicality. The duo format really adds an extra level to the music of these to performers who usually play solo as the guitars bob and weave around each other and seem to lift each other up to ever more impressive cascades of sound.
Fans of the prettier sides of rural guitar composition are urged to check this out, it may have been played in bleak old Leeds but it will quickly take you off into some rural idyll where the soft sound of waving wheat is the only distraction.
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- The Hawksworth Grove Sessions by Jim Ghedi & Toby Hay
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