Thursday, 20 April 2017

Ginger Wildheart - Ghost In The Tanglewood (2017)

Genre - Rock / Country / Folk / Roots
Label - Pledge Music / Round Records

Track listing:
01 - The Daylight Hotel
02 - Paying It Forward
03 - Golden Tears
04 - Phantom Memories
05 - Minus You
06 - Remains
07 - The Words Are Gonna Have To Wait
08 - My Old Friend The Blues (Stevie Earle Cover)
09 - The Reaper
10 - Don't Say Goodbye

available as part of the "This Is Not A Raffle" pledge.
11 - A Few Old Memories (Acapella) (Dolly Parton Cover)
12 - Has She Got A Friend For Me? (Richard and Linda Thompson Cover)
13 - I Could Have Cared For You

So here we have it folks, "Ghost In The Tanglewood", that album the Ginger Wildheart has promised and threatened to make since time began. In all seriousness Ginger has been hinting at this kind of album for years now, with the folksy Wildhearts classic, "Geordie In Wonderland", through the spoof country album World Of Filth, released under the pseudonym Howling Willy C##T, and through the Rootsy tracks that emerged as part of the tremendous G.A.S.S. project such as "Toxins & Tea", "Last day Of Summer", "The Pendine Incident" and "Cear Urfa". Now he delivers a full 10 track album of sublime heartfelt country / folk music
As Ginger himself puts it, "My fairly unavoidable accent means that the songs come off less Willie Nelson and more Bobby Thompson, but every lyric is purely heartfelt and every song is as true a story as you’ll ever hear in roots based music. This is Country music, played by a working class Geordie raised on Country and Northern Folk music. This stuff has always been in my blood since I was a wee nipper and it’s an honour to finally get to play it for you."
And what an album it is, sure it lacks the venom and attitude that has made some of Ginger's Wildhearts songs such classics, but here was have out favourite Geordie once again opening up his heart and bearing his soul in such a moving and tender way that you would have to be one cold hearted mutherpuger not to be moved, especially with the way in which the albums closing track, "Don't Say Goodbye" tugs at the old heart strings. The album really does run the full range of emotions, with songs such as "Golden Tears" and "Paying It Forward" giving hope and imploring faith and "Minus You" and "The Words Are Gonna Have To Wait" and the aforementioned "Don't Say Goodbye" giving glimpses of Ginger's more fragile side, together with the honest genius of "The Reaper". Plus Gingers cover of the Stevie Earle classic, "My Old Friend The Blues" is simply sublime!
This really is an album that needs to be digested and absorbed. Quite possibly Gingers crowning glory that tops off his long, long list of song writing achievements.

I have included three bonus tracks in the track listing that do not appear on the album proper, primarily because they were recorded as part of the albums sessions and are available through the albums pledge campaign, but also because they are great songs. The three part acapella harmonies of "A Few Old Memories", the melancholy bleakness of "Has She Got A Friend For Me" and the pure brilliance of "I Could Have Cared For You". All worth having and adding to any Ginger fans collection.

Rating: 10/10

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