Published on September 27th, 2016 | by Mike Ainscoe0
Ben Glover – The Emigrant
Proper Records PRPCD136
Two halves of a whole – Irish born and Nashville based – and an album which similarly typifies the bridge across the divide built from part traditional and part original song. There’s a strong theme of migration from with the emphasis of his own personal perspective; at a significant personal and career milestone, it’s no surprise he’s called the album, “who I am at this time in my life.”
The title track, co-written with country folk legend Gretchen Peters, sits at the core. A song that both kick started and inspired the writing and search for material which holds together the album theme of the migrant experience. The traditional ‘The Parting Glass’ – normally utilized as a farewell song – opens the album with something of a rollicking roll, yet it acts as the scene setter for an album of songs which ebbs and flows from stately piano led pieces to guitar based shuffling country rhythms. The fiddle on ‘Heart In My Hand’ and ‘Dreamers, Pilgrims, Strangers’ provides a lift and counterpoint to the main themes and there’s the sporadic switch to a vocal which recalls the intoxicated slur of Shane MacGowan peaking on ‘And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda’.
The songs possess a raw and organic presence and the occasional use of pipes exaggerate a particular Celtic feel which provides a constant reminder that the Glover roots are never far away. ‘From Clare To Here’ and then, ‘The Auld Triangle’ take him right back, the latter with a forlorn tale played out as a stark ballad.
Dylan, Springsteen, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Christy Moore might all have played their part in shaping Ben Glover into a musician with a restlessness in his life. A mix of the wild rover, the journeyman with a world weariness portrayed in song.
You can listen to ‘A Song Of Home’ from the album here:
Ben can be found online at http://www.benglover.co.uk/