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JED GRIMES - Heart & Hand

JED GRIMES - Heart & Hand
Folksound Records FSCD84

Over the years I have learned not to take a lot of notice of the Press Releases which accompany many of the items up for review. However glancing at the one for Jed Grimes I was struck by the opening sentence that it was 10 years since his previous offering, having ceased touring in order to be closer to home. Where have those years gone?

Many will know Jed from his work as part of Hedgehog Pie too many years ago, others will know him as one of the main members of The Hush. Fewer will know him as an exciting, thought provoking solo performer with roots based firmly in the North East, (of England that is!) but anyone who has heard him will be aware of his rich voice and multi-instrumentalism.

A look at the track list for Heart & Hand shows lots of old favourites ranging from the opener Byker Hill, with some lovely percussion provided by Paul Smith, through Tom Paine’s Bones, given the full treatment with some moody keyboards, before finishing with a beautifully laid back version of Danville Girl learned from the singing of Ramblin’ Jack Elliott.

There’s no need to worry about this familiar material being hackneyed as Jed is a master of original interpretations and arrangements. These are varied to say the least, but never boring. The sound quality is excellent as is the packaging - designed by Jed I suspect - with emotive photography from Bryan Ledgard. Heart & Hand is a lesson in professionalism.

Dave Beeby

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This album was reviewed in Issue 97 of The Living Tradition magazine.