Review Archive

The latest Jed Grimes solo output ‘Heart & Hand’ - destined to become a folk essential

(April 18, 2013)

Sounds, like smells, return you to places and restore forgotten images. When I listen to Jed Grimes’s Jed Grimesrich and sonorous voice it always conjures images that may or may not have anything to do with his music. They are just images that come to mind as moments of contentment... glowing logs in an open grate, rich brown ale in china tankards, wooden shelves creaking under the weight of antique books. Yes, I know that says more about my mind than Jed’s music, but safe to say from listening to ‘Hedgehog Pie’ in the 70s, Jed’s first solo album ‘Head On’ a decade or so ago, to the latest Jed Grimes solo output ‘Heart & Hand’ I’ve long been a fan of his song-writing, guitar style and vocals.

So, for fans of Jed’s music let me confirm that ‘Heart & Hand’ is another great work. It calls on elements of tradition, fuses folk fundamentals and plunders diverse sources from this and the other side of ‘the pond’, then blends in Jed’s iconoclastic approach to deliver an album that will become a folk essential. This genre–spanning outing for Jed’s talent includes a fresh take on ‘Byker Hill’ with an original tune, the blood-feud ballad ‘Hughie The Graeme’ and an inspired version of the broken-token broadside ‘Dark Eyed Sailor’. There’s also ‘Farewell to Bon County’ again with a new Grimes tune, a great rendition of Graham Moore’s ‘Tom Paine’s Bones’ and the Woody Guthrie travelling ballad ‘Danville Girl’.

To some people, ten years may constitute something more than a ‘delay’ in adding more of Jed’s work to their collection but in all honesty it will prove well worth the wait.

Joining Jed Grimes (vocals, bouzouki, acoustic, electric and lap steel guitars) to make ‘Heart & Hand’ a true ‘family and friends outing’ are Paul Smith (drums, percussion) Neil Harland (double bass, electric bass) and Liam Fender (organ, piano), the vocal talents of The Hushtones: Rosie Doonan, Liam Fender, Frances Grimes and Bob Thomas, plus guest musicians Mick Doonan (uillean pipes) Stewart Hardy (fiddle) and Bob Thomas (harmonica).

Reviewer: Tim Carroll

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