Video: Jim Ghedi “Beneath the Willow”

This beautiful song from Jim Ghedi is accompanied by an engaging video, directed by John Carroll and featuring archive footage of Sheffield interspersed with the lovely landscapes of the Peak District.  Ghedi explains the concepts behind the video: “The idea behind this music video was to portray the history and culture behind Sheffield and the surrounding region. Showcasing the industrial heritage, how people worked and lived, and conflict that arose through the years for working-class people like the ‘Battle of Orgeave’ and the Miner’s strike.  

The film also looks at the Peak District National Park and how this wide-open, green space was a haven for the workers away from the smoky city. But even this space had to be fought for with access originally being restricted to small footpaths in limited areas in order for rich landowners to shoot grouse. This ultimately lead to the ‘Mass Trespass of 1932’ where a group of brave volunteers intentionally broke the law in order to bring awareness to their cause. Their actions, and many more, paved the way for the ‘Right to Roam’ being enshrined in law throughout the UK, which gave access to mountain and moorland for all.

As this history is showcased through old stock footage, we follow our protagonist Keith How as he reflects on his life, enjoying his right to roam in the countryside. He journeys to the high point of a hill where he uses his art to capture the landscape.”

The layers of instruments flow and move together with Ghedi’s delicately characterful voice, absorbing the listener.  This is folk music that feels fresh and new while being deeply rooted in the traditions of the genre.

It’s taken from forthcoming album ‘In the Furrows of Common Place’, which is due for release on 22nd January 2021.  There has been a shift in Ghedi’s approach for the songs on the new album.  The vocals and lyrics have taken on a new importance compared to his previous material, which was often instrumental.  This was a conscious choice: as Ghedi observed the world around him and reflected, he found he had more to say, feelings he needed to voice.  Ghedi explains: “There were things I was seeing around me and being affected by in my daily life.  Socially and politically, I saw defiance but also hopelessness. I wanted to be honest with the frustration and turmoil I was experiencing.”

The famous Fagan’s pub, visible towards the end of the video, was a regular haunt of my grandfather, back when it was known as The Barrel and Joe Fagan was the landlord.  The pub, which is Richard Hawley’s local, has a history as a centre for folk music in the city centre, so it is good to see it featuring alongside Jim Ghedi’s gently captivating new music.  Enjoy.

Author: Andrew Frolish

From up north but now hiding in rural Suffolk. An insomniac music-lover. Love discovering new music to get lost in - country, singer-songwriters, Americana, rock...whatever. Currently enjoying Lukas Nelson, Midland, Jarrod Dickenson.

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