Posts Tagged With: Ben Glover

Album Review: Ben Glover – Atlantic

Ben Glover – Atlantic

Ben Glover – Atlantic

I first became aware of Ben Glover last July, when I saw him support Gretchen Peters at a gig in The High Barn, in Essex. I was a fan from the first song of his set and after chatting to him later in the evening, I had a feeling his 4th album was going to be something very special. Well that was an understatement, to say the least.

When Atlantic popped through my letterbox I was excited, and proceeded to tell my wife that this the one I had been talking about. She gave me that look that quite often follows me saying something, but undeterred I scuttled off to listen. The World Is A Dangerous Place sets the mood for album with delicate and beautifully atmospheric guitar picking. Ben’s soft vocals join a few seconds later, and immediately it’s that voice that oozes passion. That’s the beauty of Ben’s signing, whether it be a song like this, or a more gravelly track like Oh Soul that follows it, you feel every single word, every bit of pain, joy or whatever mood Ben is putting across.

Mary Gauthier said at this year’s Maverick Festival that it’s hard to define Americana, but you know it when you hear it, and I’m pretty sure I hear it in this album. It’s song-writing of the absolute highest standard, and when you consider as well as Ben’s own hugely skilled writing ability, he drafted in the likes of the aforementioned Mary Gauthier, it really should come as no surprise to anyone just how good it is.

The songs on Atlantic have so much depth and substance that I almost feel like I can reach out and touch them, and none more so than Blackbirds. Gretchen Peters is another of Ben’s friends and writing partners, and on this song, singing partner too. This is a song that I don’t want to say to much about, as like a good film or book, I don’t want to spoil the story for you. Let me just say that this one of those rare songs that can have a very profound effect on you, and I was moved on the first listen and every time since. It’s a pretty dark song, but there is such beauty in the vocals and the lyrics, with Ben and Gretchen pulling off one of the most intense and magnificent duets I have ever heard. If I drunk whiskey I think I’d want too drink it listening to this song, but gin and tonic will have to do.

While there is incredible weight to a lot of the songs, Atlantic does offer some great upbeat tunes too, Sing A Song Boys is a great example of this, which in both words and sound harks back to Ben’s Irish roots. I can imagine this being sung with Ben sitting on a stool in a pub just as much as on a bigger stage. True Love’s Breaking My Heart brings in more of a country sound and could quite happily have been written and performed 50 years ago in Nashville – both the vocals and sound have a sumptuously classic old Nashville feel.

Ben has a such a great way with words, personified by How Much Longer Can We Bend, a song about a strained relationship, and questioning it’s future. I really can’t say enough good things about Atlantic, an album that has come along at the same time as some pretty huge releases from mainstream American Nashville, and blows them all away, with ease. Lyrics, vocals, instrumentation, moods, atmosphere, emotion – there really is nothing missing from Atlantic, an album that is pretty much perfect. In an ideal world Atlantic would be played on every radio station the world over, and become a classic album for years to come. For me it will do just that, and if you have as much love for music as you think you do, you’ll grab a copy and join me in waxing lyrical.

Atlantic is out on September 1st and available on CD and download on Amazon

Find out more about Ben Glover:
Facebook: /benglovertunes
Twitter: @benglovermusic

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The Blog Is Back!

Who knows what happened 12 months ago – I had a great response form the few weeks of blogging I did on 4000 Miles to Nashville, and then decided to start writing country music articles elsewhere on my personal blog – crazy! Well 2014 is a new year, and part of that new year is a renewed dedication to blogging about what has fast become my favourite genre of music.

When I last updated this blog I hadn’t even seen any country music live, but since then I’ve had the great pleasure to see Gretchen Peters, LeAnn Rimes, Logan Mize, Ben Glover and of course LeAnn Rimes again at Country 2 Country, along with Carrie Underwood, Brantley Gilbert and Darius Rucker. I also saw a young lady called Kacey Musgraves, twice, the second time being when I was invited to a special secret gig of hers in London. I’m still not sure how that happened – maybe down to the review I did of her first gig in April 2013? Who knows!

Speaking of Kacey Musgraves, she was my biggest music love of 2013, and her album Same Trailer, Different Park was by far the most played CD I bought last year. In fact I liked it so much I even bought it on vinyl too – yes, I still buy and play records! Seeing her live and meeting her twice were definitely among the highlights of the previous 12 months, though LeAnn Rimes may have something to say about that. It was quite surreal seeing someone who I previously knew from little more than the Coyote Ugly soundtrack, belting her heart out in such a personal and passionate way in London, twice.

I think one of my first new articles for this blog should be my top 10 albums of 2013, though I think you already know what number 1 will be. Hey, there’s still 9 more places to get excited about, so stick with it. I will also post my country music articles from elsewhere to this blog – it’s mostly gig and album reviews, but damn good ones 😉

So, I’m back, to stay this time, and as always if you have any recommendations then please send them my way.

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Gig Review: Gretchen Peters & Ben Glover at The High Barn, Great Bardfield, Essex – June 25th 2013

Last night I had the pleasure of going to see some live music at maybe the most amazing venue I’ve ever been to; The High Barn in Great Bardfield, Essex. The name is self explanatory and it is a barn, with a high roof, that provides the setting for the music gigs they put on. The building dates back over 800 years and was a sight for sore eyes when I finally arrived on a lovely summer’s evening after my sat nav took me on a 40 minute detour around some of the smallest lanes I’ve ever driven along.

The High Barn, Great Bardfield, Essex. Photo Credit: The High Barn

The High Barn, Great Bardfield, Essex. Photo Credit: The High Barn

I was there to see Gretchen Peters, but before she took the stage it was the turn of Ben Glover, an Irish singer who spends 7-8 months a year over in Nashville. What became very clear straight away is how much the music means to Ben, as he put his heart and soul into every second of his time performing for us. His songs tell stories, his voice exudes passion and he himself is immersed in his craft which he has honed to absolute perfection. From wistful ballads to energised belters, Ben Glover is someone I hadn’t heard of 24 hours ago, but is someone I will be keeping a close eye on and I came away from the gig with a copy of his 3rd album, Do We Burn The Boats?. Chatting to Ben after his set, he told me that quite a few of the songs he’d played were for his next album, and one I particularly liked had only been finished last week. From first hand experience, I can tell you that that next album is going to be absolutely brilliant and I can recommend Ben as a recording artist and most definitely as a live act. Not only is he vocally brilliant but he’s a masterful guitar player too. Look out for his multi purchase CD bargains – they are live night specials 😉

Now was the turn of Gretchen Peters, someone who I had heard very little of, but was a favourite of my friend John, from whom the invite to the gig came from. She started off quite sedately, but by the third song I was hooked – that didn’t take long. A veteran of the music scene, Gretchen seemed not just at ease on stage, but as if there is nowhere she’d rather be. As a member of the paying audience there’s no greater compliment than having a performer give you everything, and for the second time that night, that’s exactly what we were getting.

Gretchen Peters, Barry Walsh & Christine Bougie at The High Barn, Great Bardfield, Essex. June 25th 2013

Gretchen Peters, Barry Walsh & Christine Bougie at The High Barn, Great Bardfield, Essex. June 25th 2013

Gretchen has one of those voices that captivates you, and several times during her set I found myself oblivious to everything around me, lost in those wonderful moments of musical bliss. As equally brilliant during poignant ballads as faster numbers, Gretchen’s set was a great collection of moments from her life and her career, accompanied by tales of what they meant to her. I particularly liked The Secret of Life, which she wrote and released back in 1997, and doesn’t sound even a tiny bit out of place being sung 16 years later.

Gretchen Peters, Ben Glover, Barry Walsh & Christine Bougie at The High Barn, Great Bardfield, Essex. June 25th 2013

Gretchen Peters, Ben Glover, Barry Walsh & Christine Bougie at The High Barn, Great Bardfield, Essex. June 25th 2013

An accomplished guitar player herself, Gretchen was joined on stage by her long time musical partner and husband of 2+ years Barry Walsh, who is a stupendous piano player who also can turn his hand to the accordion when needed, and the odd tune on the xylophone too. On electric guitar, drums and lap steel, was the ever so slightly mysterious Christine Bougie, who seems like one of those people who can pick up and play any instrument she chooses to. I was particularly taken by her lap steel wizardry, an instrument that she used to to make an unfathomable range of sounds. Barry and Christine showcased their musical prowess during the instrumental Paradiso, a song that could transport you to a world of serenity and relaxation.

Gretchen Peters & I at The High Barn, Great Bardfield, Essex. June 25th 2013

Gretchen Peters & I at The High Barn, Great Bardfield, Essex. June 25th 2013

Gretchen and band were joined on stage a couple of times by Ben Glover, and they all brought the evening to a close with a cover of The Rolling Stones’ Wild Horses, a song I am ashamed to say for many years I thought belonged to The Sundays. I met Gretchen after the gig and she was absolutely charming, warm and funny. I bought an incredible Woman On The Wheel Live CD/DVD of hers which is packaged in a beautiful hardback book full of photos, thoughts and lyrics – signed, it makes an amazing memento from the gig. The whole night, from the music, to the setting, was just spectacular. I now have some new artists (to me) whose music I will listen to and progress I will chart, and a venue in The High Barn that am keen to return to. One of my favourite nights of live music.

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