CD Review: Giles Hedley ~ Rain Is Such a Lonesome Sound

Giles front


Giles Hedley
Rain Is Such a Lonesome Sound


The cover is beguiling with raindrops like tears obscuring two people on a park bench, there is a story in the picture and I was filled with expectation as I placed the album in the player and pressed start. I was right, this is fifteen tracks of pure blues and there is nowhere for Giles to hide in this stripped back acoustic vocals-and-guitar the timing and emotional connection has to be spot on. Giles you have hit it spot-on every time as the blues beat peels off the guitar and across the room. The tracks have been put together to complement each other and work perfectly with Giles’ style; the opening and title track is one of the many traditional blues given the Hedley treatment. Rain Is Such A Lonesome Sound has a weary undercurrent and is charged with sadness, regret and then there is a glimmer of home and you know that the acoustic and traditional blues are in safe hands with performers keeping them alive with integrity and love. In the mix are three self-penned numbers the first Emilia Buck brightens the mood with a dancing tune that has its musical heart firmly in ragtime with its jaunty tempo that brings a ray of sunshine to the proceedings. The other two are Sidevalve Stroll a blues harp instrumental that holds your attention with its full sound that are the result of two harmonicas being played simultaneously by Giles one in his mouth the other an octave higher on Giles nose. The third and last of Hedley’s own numbers is Shadows Falling a guitar and vocal blues that this album just keeps on delivering.

There is a broad range of early bluesmen numbers including Son House; Robert Johnson, Mckinley Morganfield, Rev Gary Davies and many more, the selection of composers and every track selected has been considered with care. Every track has something to add to the musical lexicon of the blues collected here; his rendition of Death Ain’t Got No Mercy is full of emotion that builds from the opening three bass notes and the simplicity of the arrangement ensures it is the vocals that have the centre stage. Ending with Jealous-Hearted Me, a Robin Hicks number that has a fluidity and a toe tapping beat leaving you with a spring in your musical step, an album for the dedicated collector of the blues and a
fabulous introduction to the greats and the songs we love for anyone new to traditional blues. The production by Richard Sadler, an album recorded in the studio as a live take with no over dubs is superb the result is a blues gem for any collection

Bluesdoodles gives this CD TEN doodle paws out of TEN ….pawprint half inch

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