Gareth Davies-Jones as his PR so neatly puts it is an Irish singer with a Welsh name who has certainly been steeped in all things Celtic given the sound and influences on this excellent new album.
Having written all of the songs he also manages to play the majority of the instruments on the album which was recorded in Motherwell, Scotland so emphasising the Celtic nature of the offering. He is joined by his daughter who provides moving backing vocals on a number of the tracks and also blows a mean and evocative whistle.
At its core this is a spiritual and thoughtful album with most tracks being acoustic although there are two terrific songs “Hundred Year Skin” and “Elusive” which could be described as radio friendly with catchy riffs and chorus. Davies-Jones is it appears a well travelled man with no less than five of the twelve tracks having place names as the song title. We have Montsoreau, a French village near the River Loire which provides the setting for a love song, a homage to Rua Reidh a remote part of the west coast of Scotland, Lindisfarne Island in Northumberland, Castlereagh in Northern Island and the World War One battlefield site of Messines.
Davies-Jones is also a man with a social conscience as with “New Deal” we have a protest song which could be right from the folk traditions of the 1960’s. Touchingly he has also written a tribute about the outstandingly brave Malala Yousafzai who the Taliban tried to silence in “One Girl Among Many”.
A touching and in places moving album which is quite probably his best offering to date, Davies-Jones deserves every success with this piece of work.