Glenn Jones - Glad Cafe, Glasgow, Sat 16 Nov 2013 (4 stars)

Glenn Jones - Glad Cafe, Glasgow, Sat 16 Nov 2013

A magical evening of reflective acoustic guitar from artist with deeply personal vision

Two weeks previously, the Glad Cafe was witness to Bill Orcutt’s cracked take on the American Primitive guitar tradition, all four-string scrabbles and hobo moans. Glenn Jones may move the expanded folk forms of John Fahey, Robbie Basho and Jack Rose forward in a more modest fashion, but his vision is as deeply personal. Jones has a remarkable ability to evoke a sense of place through his reflective acoustic guitar and banjo compositions. New tune ‘The Great Pacific Northwest’ uses chromatic folk melodies and rolling rhythms to map cedar forests and grey waves breaking off Puget Sound against a backdrop of icy blue sky. Slide guitar piece ‘Island 1’ is his ‘attempt to create an island feeling without it being Hawaii’. The result is something like the reverb-drenched desert-scapes of Ry Cooder’s Paris, Texas soundtrack, transplanted to the New England coast. ‘My Garden State’ is a New Jersey fantasia, reimagining the banjo as an Appalachian harpsichord, making a stately procession through a winter landscape, each resonant plink a freezing-water droplet falling from an overhanging pine. A magical evening, the songs interspersed with Jones’s warm-hearted ramblings about his late friend Jack Rose and the time he met Elvis.

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