May the fourth, it’ll be with you…

Ben Glover’s latest album ‘Shorebound’ is a force of musical nature, a sabre of both light and dark. Full of contrast, it is the yin and yang of everyman, the full spectrum from the darker themes of ‘Catbird Seat’ (featuring Mary Gauthier) and ‘Dancing With The Beast’ (featuring Gretchen Peters) to the pure sweetness and light of ‘Kindness’ and the upbeat, poetic ‘Northern Stars’ (featuring Matt McGinn and Malojian).

This is Ben Glover at his best and what strikes me is just how highly regarded he is among his contemporaries both in Northern Ireland and his adopted home of Nashville, Tennessee. He flits betwixt these shores, but this album feels more settled, more confident and self-assured than ‘Atlantic’ and ‘The Emigrant’.

Now he knows, it’s okay to feel at home whether here or there because “home” is how you feel in your own skin. Hence, the maturity – and the wherewithal to collaborate with the great and the good. Ten of the twelve tracks on ‘Shorebound’ are collaborations – featuring songwriters Anthony Toner (‘My Shipwrecked Friend’), Matt McGinn and Malojian to Ricky Ross (of Deacon Blue fame) on ‘Wildfire’, and Robert Vincent on the final track, ‘Keeper Of My Heart’.

The gender balance is perfect with the likes of Mary Gauthier, Gretchen Peters, Kim Richey, Amy Speace and Angel Snow. These are all stand out tracks – ‘Ride The River’ featuring Kim Richey in particular – but then, listen very carefully to ‘Catbird Seat’ with Mary Gauthier and ‘Dancing With The Beast’ with Gretchen Peters and you get chills. Remember when Glover and Peters won the Americana Music Association UK’s 2017 International song of the Year with ‘Blackbirds’? Well, this is up there with that.

There’s a definite vibe in parts of the Orphan Brigade. That’s hardly surprising as the co-producer is Neilson Hubbard, Glover’s long-time collaborator with the outstanding Orphan Brigade.
The title track, ‘Shorebound’ is one of only two solo tracks on the album; the other being the beautiful ‘Kindness’ which is sure to become a favourite at future live shows.

As always with Glover, the pull of the sea features strongly. It’s a clear theme throughout the past decade – since the release of ‘Atlantic’, to ‘The Emigrant’ and now, ‘Shorebound’.

If water is life then Shorebound is over-flowing with strong, memorable songs – and is a credit to all who contributed. Long may she sail.

Upcoming Tour Dates

Date Venue City Country
Thursday 10th May 2018 King’s Place London England
Friday 11th May 2018 Folk and Blues Club Carlisle England
Saturday 12th May 2018 The Blue Lamp Aberdeen Scotland
Sunday 13th May 2018 Rose Theatre Edinburgh Scotland
Tuesday 15th May 2018 Kitchen Garden Café Birmingham England
Thursday 17th May 2018 King’s Place London England
Friday 18th May 2018 Coastal Connections Worthing England
Saturday 19th May 2018 The Junction Cambridge England
Saturday 26th May 2018 McGrory’s Culdaff Ireland
Thursday 31st May 2018 Larne Town Hall Larne Northern Ireland
Friday 1st June 2018 The Black Box Belfast Northern Ireland
Tuesday 5th June 2018 Paradiso Amsterdam Netherlands
Thursday 7th June 2018 Musemix @ Engels The Hague Netherlands
Friday 8th June 2018 Le Brocope Olderberkoop Netherlands
Saturday 9th June 2018 In The Woods Leusden Netherlands