From Northern Ireland, now based in Northumberland, Gareth Davies-Jones is currently one of the UK’s best-kept musical secrets. But not for much longer. With his third album, Water + Light, Gareth is poised for a breakthrough into the mainstream that will ensure his powerful songs and affecting performances are heard by more than just a handful of discerning listeners.
His best album yet (and Gareth raises that bar high), it’s a baker’s dozen of fine folk-tinged tracks featuring guests Kevin McGuire (Karine Polwart Band), Yvonne Lyon and fellow North East troubadour Jez Lowe. Eleven original songs, a splendidly moody instrumental that closes out the album, plus his rousing version of the traditional Black Velvet Band sit together as snugly as damp travellers at a pub fireside on a rainy day. Standout track on a consistently strong collection is the gripping narrative, Princess Victoria, a compelling tale of tragedy at sea.
Gareth is a seasoned professional singer-songwriter/guitarist and has appeared at many of the UK’s best known festivals and venues including Celtic Connections, Brampton Folk Festival, Greenbelt Festival, Off The Tracks, Crossover, Carberry Festival, The Sage, Brighton Arena, Brewery Arts Centre, Hitchin Folk Club, Farncombe Music Club and others. His work spans five albums to date the latest being “Water & Light” (HWM004) released May 16th 2008. It was produced by Graham Duffin and Sandy Jones (WetWetWet), accompanied by Kevin McQuire on Double Bass (Eddie Reader and the Karine Polwart band) and with guest appearances from Jez Lowe, Yvonne Lyon and Esther O’Connor. His music has been featured on BBC Local Radio across the UK, BBC Radio 4, Radio Britfolk, The Acoustic Stage and FolkRadio UK. Described stylistically as James Taylor meets Billy Bragg or Brian Kennedy meets Pete Seeger, Gareth has a crisp clear guitar style and a mature and memorable voice. From the big issues to the mundane he performs and entertains in the folk/acoustic tradition as well as using his music to support various organisations fighting for social justice such as Traidcraft and Casa Alianza. Alongside solo tours, other collaborations include tours with Yvonne Lyon, Megson and Rob Halligan and support work for Karine Polwart, Phil Beer, Waterson Carthy, Paul Field and Coco Mbassi.
The Official Line
“Intense lyrics and worthy aims, but also a singer-songwriter you could relax to in the small hours, soothed by the mellow vocal tones and letting the smooth guitar riffs roll over you.”
“A fully fledged have-guitar-will-travel journeyman. Songs of faith and justice ring out…”
“Passion and complete frankness……punches the listener right in the solar plexus !”
The Phantom Tollbooth
“Great songs, great guitar playing, great lyrics, great voice !”
“…a strong live performer and a perceptive songwriter….”
“…a beautiful songwriter and talented guitarist.”