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Ben Reynolds

How Day Earnt Its Night

(Tompkins Square; US: 9 Jun 2009; UK: 9 Jun 2009)

The first track on this instrumental album is called “Skylark (Scorner of the Ground)”, and “scorner of the ground” is a neat way to sum up How Day Earnt Its Night overall: it’s folk music but not of an earthy kind. No suffering, no bawds. Lawny, mudless countryside. Reynolds’ steel guitar gives each note the clarity of a harpsichord—this is the root of the album’s freedom from the soil. Some of the songs have a medieval feel, a sweet and formal courtliness. The Glasgow-based musician draws on UK folk traditions, and also on those of the American south and steel guitar Hawai’i, moving away from the courtliness for the deeper twang of “The Virgin Knows” and “All Gone Wrong Blues”. A harmonica helps him on that last one. Otherwise it’s mainly a thoughtful conversation between him and the guitar.

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Tagged as: blues | folk | guitar | uk
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