Angel Air Records [Release date 12.01.18]
A bit like the proverbial bus, Gordon Giltrap’s recent albums are few and far between and then two arrive within a relatively short space of time. Last year’s ‘The Last of England’ was a triumph and reinstated Giltrap’s ascendancy in the world of acoustic guitar. ‘Peace Will Fall’ – originally released in 2012 as ‘Echoes Of Heaven’ – is sufficiently different with Giltrap’s fretwork flourishes enhanced by Carol Lee Sampson’s vocals. Her warm style is not dissimilar to Magenta’s Tina Booth.
This is an interesting departure for Giltrap as mostly his albums are instrumental but punters should be aware that, as is often the case, older songs are re-worked and given a new twist.
So, for example, ‘Praise Him’ is actually ‘Roots’ whilst ‘Under A Blue Sky’ and ‘The Lord’s Seat’ will also be familiar tunes found elsewhere. ‘Sallie’s Song’ reappears as ‘Echoes Of Heaven’ with a narrated lyric, ‘Elegy’ becomes’ Walk Beside Me’.
The overall spiritual nature of this album is reinforced by the presence of co-writer Rev Martin Green (yes, a real clergyman!) and the ambience. In fact, with the inclusion of another old chestnut – ‘Christmas Carol’ – this could be the festive album that arrived just a little too late. However, some may find the overtly Christian lyrics (conspicuously absent in the CD liner) a little cloysome.
It seems that Giltrap is making up for a little lost time (and ill-health) reviving projects that germinated some years ago. With ‘The Last Of England’ he took up with a guy he’d first encountered at a car boot sale in the 1980s whilst this latest collaboration originated in a pub in Kenilworth in 2009.
For fans of Giltrap’s work ‘Peace Will Fall’ is a handsome addition. And, no, we are spared a vocal version of ‘Heartsong’. ****
Review by David Randall
David Randall presents ‘Assume The Position’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Sunday at 22:00 GMT.
Album review (The Last of England plus interview)
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