With a guitar as a weapon of choice, Jim Ghedi’s most recent album is a wonderous call back to traditional folk music and all the magic that it can bring. For the vast majority of “A Hymn For Ancient Land”, Jim’s guitar is mixed with other strummable or stringed instruments but rarely voice and so if you’re looking for a real throwback to Ye Olde Music – this is your calling.
Across the seven tracks, you’ll have plenty to enjoy. The fiddle infused opener “Home for Moss Valley” switches its pace, style and levels of jauntiness across its seven-minute epicness. In stark contrast “Cwn Elan” is a beautiful tinkering harp, piano and guitar ditty that is like skipping through a flower field on your way to get a fresh loaf of bread. “Bramley Moor” switches things across to the rustic country with plenty of twangy guitar and slide movements. It’s the kind of theme tune an RPG like Wild ARMS would be proud of. “Fortingall Yew” is symphonic and dramatic. Lush string arrangements sweep in over rushing acoustic guitars that pluck and strum with such intertwined natures it feels fluid like a rushing river. Jim’s ability to mesh all the sounds together is a true skill and art form. “Phoenix Works” is a huge plodding ode to industrialisation and mixes Eastern instruments like a sitar in place of the guitar itself – and has a rousing worker chant to boot. “Banks of Mulroy Bay” is a dronelike Celtic ballad with long drawn out strings and wistful lyrics and then “Sloade Lane” closes out with a return to the acoustic guitar underscored with minimal brass arrangements.
I’ve sailed through the tracks on purpose because I wanted to show the sheer breadth and depth of the styles and themes on offer here, yet it all fits into a lush, warm and cohesive sound. Jim’s guitar style and musical arrangements are sublime and anyone looking for an album of indulgent folk music should absolutely enjoy this album – preferably with a ginger beer (or some mead!).
Recommended track: Fortingall Yew