The voice of Jim Ghedi and the exquisite musicianship on show here seem to come from another place and time. ‘Lamentations of Round-Oak Waters’ is an absorbing, transcendent experience. The video is a live studio session recorded at Black Bay Studios in the Outer Hebrides and the character of the scenery adds to magic of the song.
The song is named after a poem by John Clare and is inspired by his life and work. Clare wrote at a time of great industrial and agricultural change and was concerned about the impact on nature and the countryside, which he celebrated in his work. That ecological sensibility still feels relevant today, of course, and Clare’s subject matter is a perfect fit for Jim Ghedi, who frequently engages with social and political history though his songs.
Ghedi says of his inspiration: “The poem and his life were centred around the time of the land enclosure act in England, where common land was enclosed and lower class farmworkers & labourers and their families were forced into poverty. Subsequently the countryside across England in the years ahead would be dramatically shaped, changed and managed under the hands of private landowners, ensuring less open access for people. The words in this poem also felt connected to environmental issues going on in Sheffield currently, where local councils were signing private contracts with corporate companies, overriding public protests and allowing the felling of a vast proportion of the cities trees.”
‘Lamentations of Round-Oak Waters’ is the second release from Ghedi’s forthcoming album. ‘In the Furrows of Common Place’ is due out on 22nd January 2021, and promises to be a musical move away from his previous, largely instrumental work. The new album find Ghedi in a more reflective mood, offering a more personal voice through the lyrics. Recorded over the course of a week in January 2020 and feeling the exposure to the wild winter elements and the remoteness of the island studio, Ghedi and his fine collection of musicians bonded through the experience and this translates into a superb performance. He explains: “It was great having us all eating together and living in the space where we were recording music. The first day it snowed and I looked out the window onto the Atlantic sea to see the snow on the hills, the ice on the water, the birds overhead and a deep silence. I felt glad my friends were there, humble to have the opportunity to record music with the people I care about.”
Check out this video for a sense of that camaraderie and a glimpse of what the new album will offer. You will not be disappointed.