Scott Ashworth’s latest release, ‘The Ghost’, is a superbly crafted song, featuring an engaging melody and fine instrumentation. Particularly notable is the eerie-sounding pedal steel from Steven Hicken Jr – his notes rise and fall beautifully, drifting up like the smoke in a honky tonk bar, perfect for the song’s narrative. In the lyrical tale Ashworth weaves, a singer is faced by the doubt and uncertainty that the troubadour lifestyle brings. He sees a ghost who forces him to reflect on his loneliness, exhaustion and fear that he will never achieve his dreams. It’s never clear whether the ghost is real or just the singer’s own thoughts and fears reflected back at him. We can imagine the tale’s protagonist, moving from one small venue to another, playing to small audiences in dusty honky tonks, haunted by the feeling that wider success will always evade him. The atmospheric video, filmed by Simon Gillespie (Cinematique Films) at The Red Hoose in Dunipace and directed by Simon Jake, is artfully shot and reinforces the song’s themes.
Alongside Steven Hicken Jr on pedal steel, Ashworth is ably supported by Iain Donald on bass and Dave Cantwell on drums. Together, their performance is accomplished and engaging throughout. ‘The Ghost’ is the third single from the Scottish singer-songwriter’s upcoming album ‘Ghosts and Broken Men’. While waiting for the new record, absorb this and recent singles ‘Pity Clown’ and ‘Never See Colour Again’. Check it out.