| Water & Light
When we heard Gareth Davies-Jones first cut, "Only For A Shortwhile" we marked him down as a singer/songwriter to keep an ear on. "Water & Light totally vindicates that opinion. Gareth continues to rise in stature as a wordsmith. His no compromise approach to getting his thoughts down on paper and out through his songs have been rewarded with one hell of an album.
"Water & Light" is everything that a good folk album should be. It's rich in people and places, politics and social justice. Just as important, it doesn't forget about the human condition and emotion. By doing that it manages to put a perspective on the songs. You can see how people are affected by interactions with other people and events.
"Shoreline Of Ghosts", for example, features the betrayal of the village communities in the North East. The old industries, coalmining allowed to fail for lack of investment, the trawlermen forced into ever declining quotas due to mismanagement by the government that let the coal industry fail. Yet money can be found to make those same villages part of the heritage trail and turn worker's cottages into holiday homes. The difference is that Davies-Jones puts it more elloquently in his verses.
As you might imagine with an album called "Water & Light", the coastline and sea feature quite extensively. "Princess Victoria" recalls the fateful night of the 31st of January 1953, when the car ferry/merchant ship of that name was lost in the Irish sea with the loss of over 100 lives. It wasn't an incident I was aware, but then it's frightening how quickly the Herald Of Free Enterprise has drifted away from the folk memory.
You might think it's going to be depressing album from the content, content that includes a biting comment on the government of fear. Far from it, Davies-Jones knows that if an album's not entertaining, you're never going to play it, no matter what it's trying to say. If you want to be heard you have to reach out to people with good songs and good tunes and it's here that he hits the mark.
"Water & Light" also reflects the human spirit, tribute is paid to those who put themselves out. People that walk sixteen miles to collect medicine for others, those that feel empashioned enough to act, not just complain. Those that live on hope alone will starve. Gareth Davies-Jones has brought the protest song into the twenty first century.
The lead track for "Water & Light", "Borderland" can be found on the Fatea Showcase Session:Songsmiths, available free from http://www.fatea-showcase-sessions.co.uk
FATEA RECORDS - http://www.fatea-records.co.uk/
From Northern Ireland, now based in Northumberland, Gareth Davies-Jones is currently one of the UK’s best-kept musical secrets. But not for much longer. With his third album, Water + Light, Gareth is poised for a breakthrough into the mainstream that will ensure his powerful songs and affecting performances are heard by more than just a handful of discerning listeners.
His best album yet (and Gareth raises that bar high), it’s a baker’s dozen of fine folk-tinged tracks featuring guests Kevin McGuire (Karine Polwart Band), Yvonne Lyon and fellow North East troubadour Jez Lowe. Eleven original songs, a splendidly moody instrumental that closes out the album, plus his rousing version of the traditional Black Velvet Band sit together as snugly as weary travellers at a pub fireside on a bracing day. Standout track on a consistently strong collection is the gripping narrative, Princess Victoria, a compelling tale of tragedy at sea.
| Only For A Short While
|Wow! I had never heard
of Gareth Davies-Jones until I received this disc. After listening
to this disc's politically commentary and unflinching critiques
of those who would call themselves Christians without actually
showing it, I now consider myself a fan. Think Derek Webb. Think
Keith Green and Rich Mullins. Think T-Bone Burnett and Bill
Mallonee. Vocally, Jones is more difficult to compare –
at times every folk singer you've ever heard comes through,
at others David Gray, Mark Knopfler, Chris Rice, and Derek Webb.
"Hard Reality" serves as a summary for the entire
album – Jones is bringing truth here, and forces the listener
to face up to it, ignoring the uneasy feeling that comes along
with brutal honesty. "Money Goes Round" poses questions
about war, and its purpose, reminding us that "no one can
serve two masters". "On the Face of It" probes
us to look past initial appearances, and to make sure we have
the real picture of things. Only for a Short While caught me
completely off guard. I can only hope Gareth Davies-Jones achieves
the same purpose with other listeners.
Brian A. Smith - The
|The second full album by
this singer/songwriter guitarist comprises 10 self-penned songs
of undeniable quality. The protest element of Gareth's writing
is in your face in such songs as "Money Goes Round",
"Asylum" and "On The Face Of It", a song
declaring that in our world today white is becoming black and
vice-versa. His spirituality is evident in songs such as "Infinity",
reflecting on creation. Voice and guitar sound have a great
feel and this album will have the enduring quality of the listener
finding something new in the songs on repeated listen. Gareth
has quality support from other musicians and in the crisp production.
Backing vocal support includes Yvonne Lyon (formerly Yvonne
Whitty of the group Land). Gareth has been touring constantly
since he went fulltime and deserves to break through to public
consciousness in as strong a way as Martyn Joseph.
Alan Chesters – Cross
and composer Gareth Davies-Jones dedicates his musical talents
to a very good cause – several of them, in fact. Gareth’s
new CD, Only for a Short While, has just been released and
its contents are designed to raise awareness of big issues.
This is the fifth release for Gareth – a singer-songwriter
in the Bob Dylan, protest song tradition. He tackles questions
like climate change, the immoralities of the global economy
and the hellish lives of asylum seekers. But his tunes are
so melodic and his voice so lyrical that you never feel preached
at. In Gareth’s song, Asylum, he mourns: “The
state is blind and we’ve been cast, as a brand new form
of underclass...” In Upside Down, he warns: “Show
them love not retribution. Start a revolution...” The
lyrics are intense and the aims worthy, but this is an album
you could relax to in the small hours, soothed by the mellow
vocal tones and letting the smooth guitar riffs roll over
you. Gareth, who lives at Hagg Bank, plays and sings all over
the UK as part of the FairTrade Music organisation, set up
to give musicians of all nations a fair deal. He also works
with Christian Aid and Traidcraft. Locally, Gareth is a regular
performer at the Acoustic Cafe in Stocksfield, and is due
to appear at Brampton on July 23, and in Allendale on November
18. Gareth’s album Only for a Short While is available
based singer-songwriter has been earning his bread and butter
in the music business for 3 years. The songs on “Only
for a short While” are brought in an almost exuberant
expressive way. 45 minutes of acoustic music a la Martyn Joseph.
Personally the religious line of approach/ thought which Gareth
Davies Jones uses, does not disturb me. I do think it is a shame
that a shareware database like Gracenote (which Apple, amongst
others, uses) adds automatically and without asking the label
“Gospel & Religious”. (Try backing out of such
a devilish corner!) The songs are tested and evaluated within
the live circuit, and therefore have been found strong enough
to entrust to the eternity of the silver disc. Gareth has my
blessing and the 10 songs filled me with great pleasure. The
instrumentation is very well cared for/ provided for and Gareth
received bass input from Kevin McGuire (Karine Polwart's band)
and backing vocals from Yvonne Lyon. “Hard Reality”
with slight Nick Drake tendencies, is really a very beautiful
Rein van den Berg - Real
(Translated by Jikke Drummond-Smith)
|"Rooted in the folk/acoustic
tradition, Gareth Davies-Jones is a singer songwriter and guitarist
who’s previous work I’ve had the pleasure to hear.
Since turning professional 3 years ago he has been gigging his
way around the UK and Ireland, building a reputation as a strong
live performer and a perceptive songwriter. He says that this
new album deals with the “travails of life, the things
that can affect us all regardless of our standing”. Staying
true to his live sound, Gareth’s songs are accompanied
by simple, stripped down sounds. “Money Goes Round”
starts things off, with a look at universal wealth and poverty.
“Hard Reality” sounds good with it’s guitar
and keyboard backing, while the first really catchy number comes
with “Asylum”. Here, Gareth looks at the growing
problem of asylum seekers all over the world. Gareth plays the
sort of music that would go sdown best in an intimate setting.
It’s the type of thing that Martyn Joseph has been doing
so well over the year’s, and now, here’s someone
of quality to rival his talents."
NFN - June
|"'Only For A Short
While' is the new album from Gareth Davies-Jones - A Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist
with a Welsh name who hails from Northern Ireland via Newcastle
and Northumberland! His inspiration from past experiences and
global matters come together to create a well-crafted and produced
acoustic album. The opening track, 'Money Goes Round' gets the
album off to a great start with its catchy chorus and strong
harmonies. Accompanying Gareth is a strong group of musicians,
including Kevin McGuire, whose double-bass provides a steady
foundation on every song. I have seen Kevin with the Scottish
band, The Felsons, fronted by Dean Owens, and Gareth's voice
is quite reminiscent of Dean's - especially with the occasional
hint of vibrato. The accordion (played by David Lyon) also makes
an appearance on 'Upside Down' and although there is a serious
message within the song, the accordion gives it a brighter edge
with yet another memorable chorus. Issues that are close to
Gareth's heart, such as fair-trade are reflected in the tracks,
'Hard Reality', 'Asylum' and 'Rising', which includes the thoughtful
line, "thousands of voices, never a sound". He himself
has said, writing and performing music is a way of bringing
to attention these kinds of problems that are in the world today.
Gareth is due to tour the UK later this year for a second, 'Fair-Trade'
tour following on from the success of last year's. It was on
this tour that I first heard several of the songs that have
now made it onto the album, including a personal favourite,
'Reflections'. And as an added bonus, I'd left the CD running
after hearing the last song and I discovered an extra track!
A beautiful guitar instrumental, which shows that not only is
Gareth a talented songwriter, but guitarist too.
Hannah Tobin - Covfolk Online - June 2006
|Zijn producer ken ik al
heel lang. Graeme Duffin. Hij speelde op prachtige albums van
Steve Butler (Waving And Drowning uit 1983) en Ricky Ross (So
Long Ago uit 1984). Ross zou niet lang daarna het fantastische
Deacon Blue oprichten terwijl Butler eind jaren tachtig begon
met Lies Damned Lies. En Duffin? Die verwierf wereldfaam met
Wet Wet Wet. Schotland dus. Davies-Jones omschrijft zich als
6 feet tall with a Welsh name, Irish ancestry, Geordie kids
and wife from Yorkshire. Ook als het om zijn muziek gaat is
hij to the point: I’m a singer-songwriter in the acoustic
sense of the term. Hij noemt Martyn Joseph, John Martin en John
Renbourne (vooral als gitarist waarschijnlijk) als grote invloeden.
De eerste en de laatste zijn duidelijk terug te horen. Na een
EP in 2003 is Only For A Short While zijn debuut. Op zijn eigen
Heading West Music nog wel. Net als voornoemde Joseph, is Gareth
Davies-Jones overduidelijk een bewogen en bevlogen christenmens.
Op zijn gitaar had, bijna analoog aan Woody Guthrie, this machine
kills sin kunnen staan. Dat het er niet staat tekent zijn prettige
bescheidenheid. Zo klinkt dit album even urgent en opstandig
als bedachtzaam. Duffin (en ik wil pas gezeur over Wet Wet Wet
horen als u bovengenoemde platen in huis hebt, ok?!) geeft Davies-Jones
een helder geluid waarin de akoestische gitaar en stem van deze
singer-songwriter centraal staan. Er is een liedje over vluchtelingen
My dignity is turned to shame
Feel like a number not a name
Give me something for the pain
This asylum – just a sick and arbitrary game
Rising gaat over de Dalit, die Indiase kastelozen die worden
gediscrimineerd na de hulpverlening vanwege de Tsunami. Only
For A Short While (deze titel is afkomstig uit het prachtige
Infinity dat dit album besluit) ontleent haar kracht aan deze
scherpe opmerkingsgave. Het vermogen en de durf om achter
het zwakke en weerloze te gaan staan. In die zin is de ‘sin’
die op zijn gitaar had kunnen staan in wezen niet de ‘sin’
van de klassieke dominees en priesters. Het is letterlijk
het verkeerd handelen. Niet werkelijk van mensen houden. Het
Partijprogramma het Hoogste Woord geven. We zullen er binnenkort
bij de bespreking van de nieuwe Bruce Cockburn (ongetwijfeld
ook een voorbeeld voor Davies-Jones) nog op terugkomen. Het
waarlijk grote van zijn voorbeelden kleeft Gareth Davies-Jones
nog niet aan, hun talent heeft hij zeker. Zijn gitaarspel
is uitstekend (mooie ronde tonen elke keer weer) en ook zijn
liedjes mogen er zijn. Maar misschien wel het meest aantrekkelijk
aan dit album is het introverte karakter. Ook de eigen boezem
blijkt een sneeuwwitte hand te kunnen bevatten.
Wim Boluijt - Hanx.net - July 2006
| Faith, Folk & Fair Trade
|“Passion and complete
frankness jumps off this disc and punches the listener right
in the solar plexus! These four simple songs will do what most
worship music isn’t able to do, move one into action.
Carrying the torch that Chris Martin of Coldplay has lit trying
to make trade fair between Industrialized and Under Developed
nations is Gareth Davies-Jones. This EP focuses on the suffering
that ravaged third world Nations deal with daily. While government
and big business does nothing to help and unfortunately quite
often they are the perpetrators of the crimes. The aim of these
songs is to let the church know that adults as well as children,
our brothers and sisters in Christ are dying. We cannot remain
passive we have to do something. To get a feel for what Gareth
offers to us I will share a line from the heart gripping “Greed
For Gain” it goes “what would Jesus do – someone
said to me/what would Jesus do/well I don’t know (exactly)/but
I know He’d do something/so why don’t you?”
This album is more of an experience, this is not something that
you would listen to casually. To get the full effect of what
Gareth has created you will want to focus on the lyrics, internalize
them. Too often Christian social justice is overlooked, thank
you Gareth for being one crying out in the wilderness, too many
of us myself included would rather be tanning by the pool.”
Phantom Tollbooth - Aaron Anderson 23/10/2005 http://www.tollbooth.org/2005/reviews/dgj.html
|“This EP features
four songs which each touch on poor people's struggle for dignity
in a world where the rules are stacked against them - a problem
the world is increasingly in tune with in this year of the MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY
campaign and Live 8. Gareth, who has the knack of writing in
Martyn Joseph style, has a very listenable voice and the simple
instrumentation is well recorded. Indeed, the acoustic guitar
sound is some of the best I've heard for a long time. "Greed
For Gain" says " I Work all day for a very low wage…it's
time to make a better deal". If you listen to the words,
Gareth brings home the message of just what Fair Trade is all
about. "Love thy Neighbour" is the message contained
in "These Days" and the overall feel of the CD is
very intimate. Close your eyes and you can almost imagine Gareth
performing the songs just for you. Overall, the well crafted
lyrics weave and connect well with the simple acoustic backing.”
Geoff Howlett – NFN October 2005
|“This is a four song
EP. The songs reflect the Christian faith of the artist and
a promotion of ethical trading, having said that it's more 'matter
of fact' than preaching in tone. Generally in a folk style with
well played acoustic, occasional keyboards and percussion, Gareth
has a pleasantly listenable singing voice like a less irritating
version of David Gray. The songs are not the strongest, opener
'Stand In' probably the most impressive of the four, with some
particularly fine guitar playing. The first three songs are
new, the final offering 'Street' is taken from the album 'A
Play Upon The Conscience', and is a bit of a lighter waver with
singalong tendencies, though it also has hints of soul to it,
if Sir Cliff needs a new writer he could do a lot worse!”
Americana UK – October 2005
| A Play Upon The Conscience
|“You might think
by the title that there’s something more to this singer
songwriter than just putting together an album of songs for
the sake of it. Gareth takes the gritty writing style of Martyn
Joseph, the simple smoothness of Fernando Ortega’s sound,
and the commercial substance of David Gray, to come up with
an album that could just be different enough to make it big.
The lyrics delve into your conscience and ask those questions
that we sometimes avoid. Are we really building our house on
solid rock, or is slowly sinking in the sand? Listen, as “Out
of Hand”, an acoustic blues number, asks that very question.
Do you really put others first? “Take A Back Seat”
cleverly twists and turns lyrically to pose another. Musically,
Gareth leads the way with his acoustic guitar but is complimented
well by his co-musicians and vocalists. “Solitude”
flows effortlessly all over you and wraps you in a cocoon of
God’s love, while the haunting sound of “Heavenfield”
explores the personal battle that we all go through, especially
times of denial. Take time to listen to this album and you’ll
find a lot more than just a talented musician. This is a gift
for all. 9/10.”
Geoff Howlett - NFN October
|“The first time I
heard “Madrid” played on Mike Rimmer’s Rimmerama
radio programme when Gareth came to Cross Rhythms Villas to
do TV and radio interviews I knew this English singer/songwriter
with the implausibly Welsh name was something special. “Madrid”
is quite simply one of the best songs borne out of a tragic
world event you’ll ever hear – a haunting, beautifully
sparse contemplation on the recent terrorist bombing which then
moves seamlessly to the cross and the heart of stone sometimes
evident in all of us. Wisely, that classic is recorded with
just Gareth’s beautifully picked acoustic. There’s
much else on ‘A Play Upon The Conscience’ to demonstrate
the depth of Gareth’s songwriting craft – a concise
look at a culture which both bombards us with images of perfect
looking people (“Radical”); the 21st century lie
that truth is what we make it (“Out Of Hand”), and
the closer, Gareth’s lovely new melody to the classic
hymn “My Song Is Love Unknown”. With excellent production
and sleeve design this is as impressive an album debut you’re
likely to find this or any year. Rating: 9/10”
Cummings, Editor – Cross Rhythms Magazine
sent me a copy of his debut album “A Play Upon The Conscience”
last week. In just days he has quickly blasted from complete
obscurity, so far as I was concerned, to being within easy reach
of my mitts for repeat playing. Gareth's style may be acoustic/folk
but as a description this doesn't really do justice to the breadth
of appeal that this guy's music should have. After all would
you call yourself a folkie? Probably not. Do you like your instruments
natural or 'electronically amplified'? Rock fans aside you may
not have even thought about it. But do you know that you like
accomplished playing, thought provoking, EVEN DECIPH-ERABLE,
Christian lyrics that are sung well? You probably do. In my
book Gareth is right up there with the likes of Paul Field,
and Don Francisco, for putting together a story and a tune and
themselves delivering it brilliantly. Unless the record companies
are deaf to good music, so don't sign him, you will be hearing
a lot more of Gareth Davies-Jones in the years to come.”
|Review for CR Magazine by Tom Lennie
|The Lot, Edinburgh, Sunday 18th February 2007
Tucked away at the foot of Edinburgh's lofty Castle, in the Grassmarket area, sits The Lot, a cosy little cafe/bar, which former church hosted, on Sunday 18th February, the final gig in the four-date Scottish winter-tour of two increasingly noticed musicians, Gareth Davies-Jones and Yvonne Lyon. Gareth has something of a cross-identity, for, despite his Welsh name, he was born and raised in Northern Ireland (hence his accent), but now lives in north England, from where he journeyed to make his voice heard north of the border. The decision to tour together was a wise one, for the two artists complement each other wonderfully, both in song-content and style, each accompanying the other on acoustic guitar/percussion and backing vocals, as they perform their self-penned songs in a loosely alternate basis. Enhancing these sounds on keyboards, accordion and guitar is Yvonne's hubbie, David Lyon, himself a noted musician, producer and worship leader, with several recordings to his name.
Gareth kicked off the set with "Money Goes Round", a lyrically hard-hitting song denouncing the multi-defects of the global economy. This he followed with "Butterfly", a song inspired by seeing a butterfly trapped on the London Underground when engaged on a recent March arranged by Christian Aid to protest against the Government's involvement with the IMF. "We take their money and we give them debt/And we promise them things they haven't had yet." Clearly Gareth isn't afraid to tackle difficult topics of world affairs in his music, be they political, economic or social. In the latter category, came "Breathe", a song about woman-abuse, inspired by a documentary on life in a women's shelter in London, which Gareth completed in the aftermath of the prostitute murders in Ipswich in the autumn of 2006.
The troubadour's more personal and spiritual side was expressed in a couple of songs with a water connection, such as "Reflections" ("I went down by the river to watch it run it's course. . ./Perhaps we're like the river, running from its source"). Back to a global vision, "Upside Down" is a potent declaration of how, if we take Jesus' teaching fully to heart, we can, through the power of his love, turn the world upside down.
Yvonne has striking, clear vocals which carry well. Both she and Gareth seemed relaxed, despite - or perhaps because of, the proximity of the audience - and both, too, have warm, friendly personalities, apparent as they shared personal anecdotes during the course of the evening. Like Gareth, many of Yvonne's songs also reveal, through a variety of circumstances, the power of love. "Mariana" came about through meeting a woman in Romania, who, despite the hardships of her life, showed a determination to press on, and her face glowed with serenity and joy. On the same theme, "Love" carries a rich, poetic portrayal of what that word truly signifies, and, being a track from "Fearless", was recently used as a first waltz at a friend's wedding. Two of Yvonne's most touching songs were "Everything's Fine", encouraging us to recognise unsuspecting angels in the face of life's adversities, and "Come", a beautiful invitation to unload our burdens on he who alone can give rest and peace.
Both musicians seek to reach out to secular as well as Christian audiences; thus, while there's an obvious spiritual quality to many of their non-cliched songs, such message came over in a subtle and non-provocative manner. Both Yvonne and Gareth are, of course, well known to Cross Rhythms, and each of their latest recordings ('Fearless'  and 'Only For A Short While' , respectively) were awarded a full 10 squares.
Just to show there's a lighter side to their music, one or two fun songs were delivered, such as "Once Upon A Squish", composed by two kids, both named Dylan, during an Arts Therapy course led by Yvonne at Yorkhill Hospital in Glasgow ('The Yorkhill Sessions' is the resulting charity recording).
The song "Down In The River To Pray" from the film O Brother, Where Art Thou drew the set to a close with extended, heart-felt applause for a delightful evening's entertainment, which was also a fitting showcase for some highly creative and thought-provoking output from two of the UK's finest singer/songwriters.
| Striking A Chord For Justice
|The Arts Cafe,
Maidenhead - 2nd June 2006
lyrics about fair trade,justice and Christianity were the
order of the day as a roaming singer songwriter bought his
guitars to town, writes Antony Quarrell.
Gareth Davies-Jones performed acoustic numbers from his
new album Only for a Short While at Maidenhead's intimate
candlelit venue, The Arts Café, which is attached to
the Methodist Church in the High Street, on Friday.
Gareth, who set up his own recording company Heading West
Music in 2004 after being made redundant, is currently undertaking
a national tour and Friday was the first time he played Maidenhead.
Performing songs of sometimes stark and brutal frankness,
described by one critic as punching the listener "right
in the solar plexus", the tall, lean, Irishman did not
mince his words. Songs such as Money Goes Round and Greed
For Gain echoed his involvement and passion for the FairTrade
movement. Asylum dealt with the ever controversial issue from
the perspective of an asylum seeker, while Hard Reality was
a soul searching examination on our own mortality.
There were also moments of tenderness and spiritual introspection
with songs such as Reflections and Older. Meanwhile the song
Infinity, said to have been inspired by Gareth spotting an
orbiting satellite while stargazing on a cold winter's night
with his young son, examined the smallness of man's achievements
when set against the backdrop of infinity and God's creation.
The songs were interspersed with Gareth talking about his
believes and thoughts, laced with examples of his laconic
Explaining his Fair Trade minded lyrics Gareth told the Express:"It's
basically a less dry way of introducing people to the whole
issue - people can think it has nothing to do with them."
Gareth said that people are usually supportive of the Fair
Trade issue when they encounter it, and he is involved with
a new initiative,Fair Trade Music,which aims to give musicians
across the world a fair deal as well as raising awareness
of Fair Trade as an issue.
| Greenbelt 2005
|Christian Aid Venue:
3.30pm Sat 27th August 2005
Aid has never seemed
more colourful. The tables have a montage of multi-coloured
leaflets, the Surefish Bowl Café is doing a roaring
trade, Christian Aid's Digging Deep: Getting To The Roots
Of Poverty posters seem to adorn every surface and the tent
is packed with chattering people.
Possibly not the likeliest place to hear an acoustic singer/songwriter
but Gareth Davies Jones is a fully fledged have-guitar-will-travel
journeyman and with his involvement with Fair Trade causes
has taken to the challenge like the proverbial water-approaching
duck. Songs of faith ("The further I go the more I'm
convinced/Someone stood in for me") and justice ("Pay
off the debt that's around our necks") ring out.
My attention wanders a bit due to a group at a table consisting
of a Franciscan friar, a husband, wife and children who talk
very loudly through Gareth's songs. But finally they leave
and Gareth's "Reflections", as peaceful and tranquil
as its title, draws me in even if the babble of noise around
my table means I miss some of Gareth's poetic lyrics. Gareth
tries a sing-along and soon James Taylor's "You've Got
A Friend" has at least some of the chatterers singing.
And so the tremendous set continues with the truly haunting
melody "If I Was Jesus" with its cutting lyrics
and "Streets" with its painful images of street
children. The final song, a haunting "what's it all about,"
is a beautiful low key closer. Great set, shame about the
Tony Cummings, Editor, Cross Rhythms Magazine
|FOLK MIXES WITH FAITH
AND FAIR TRADE
Friday 21st Jan 2005
Folk and Fairtrade concert at the Acoustic Cafe delivered
what it promised – faith, folk and fair trade produce
in a warm cafe style atmosphere in Stocksfield.
With all the profits of the event going to charity, the
turnout of around 80 people was very encouraging. The opening
set by Riding Mill’s Pete Ryder was both quirky and
amusing and provided much food for thought. The audience responded
well to a real wordsmith covering topics as diverse as the
A68, Beatrix Potter’s gun, and the ever present threat
of the weather.
The second set was an assured and accomplished performance
by local singer-songwriter Gareth Davies-Jones, whose strong
vocal skills showed off to good effect, not least during his
haunting a cappella performance of the Irish traditional Curragh
There can be few young men on the local folk scene who can
hold their audience so well as Gareth whose Celtic roots and
lilting Irish accent give authenticity to his faith-based
folk music offerings. Gareth played several tunes from his
latest album A Play Upon The Conscience. The title of the
album is derived from a line in his song Street, a harrowing,
but ultimately hopeful account of the life of one of the street
children of South America.
He also managed to weave in hits from James Taylor (with whom
Gareth is sometimes compared) and Bill Withers, which the
audience appreciated greatly. One to watch out for - catch
a local gig if you can. The Acoustic Cafe next opens it doors
on Friday May 6 - hope to see you there.
Hexham Courant: Published on Friday, January 28th 2005