The Last Of England

Gordon Giltrap and Paul Ward

Available from:
Angel Air Records
Amazon

New Release on 20th January 2017

Gordon has teamed up with keyboard player/producer PAUL WARD who has a sizeable number of music production credits under his belt including a Xmas animation with David Jason and a drama mini series starring Martin Kemp, to produce his new album.

“The Last Of England” is an innovative new album that crosses several styles from prog to folk rock to pop to classical in the unique style that Gordon has developed and honed over his career.



Album review: GORDON GILTRAP & PAUL WARD – The Last Of England

http://getreadytorock.me.uk/blog/2017/01/album-review-gordon-giltrap-paul-ward-the-last-of-england/

Gordon Giltrap? Where do you start? This veteran performer has been treading the boards since the late 1960s when his first album appeared on the Transatlantic label. Since that time with successive solo albums, a dalliance in the 1970s with electric prog rock and any number of collaborations, the watchword has always been musical quality and brilliant guitar playing. Oh yes and that tune called ‘Heartsong’.

Gordon’s latest enterprise places his acoustic guitar against the rich orchestrations of his latest collaborator Paul Ward. Paul who? He met him at a car boot sale in the 1980s soon realising that Paul had been a fan since childhood.

Fast forward 30 odd years and the duo have created a superb, pastoral, album of lush acoustic and orchestral textures. The first seven pieces are related and collectively called ‘The Brotherhood Suite’ and inspired by the pre-Raphaelite art Giltrap viewed in – amongst other places – Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.

The remainder of the set includes a mixture of tunes commissioned by or dedicated to friends and family.

Ward’s arrangements are never intrusive but always complementary giving an extra dimension to Giltrap’s solo guitar. It’s evident a lot of thought has gone into this aspect, and the informative liner notes highlight the mutually shared inspiration. Fairport’s Rick Sanders adds violin to the closing piece – and standout – ‘A Promise Fulfilled’.

A great way to usher in 2017 and Angel Air’s 20th anniversary. *****

Review by David Randall



Album review: GORDON GILTRAP & PAUL WARD – The Last Of England

http://www.seaoftranquility.org/reviews.php?op=showcontent&id=19484

The duo of acclaimed folk guitarist Gordon Giltrap and keyboard player/producer Paul Ward have put their creative skills together on numerous projects over the years, with their latest The Last of England arriving just in time to celebrate Angel Air Records' 20th Anniversary. Giltrap has been wowing listeners since the late '60s with his wonderful acoustic guitar playing, and he's again in fine form here alongside the lush arrangements crafted by Ward, the two delivering 14 tracks of calming folk, soaring prog, and melodic pop.

With beds of synths crafting alluring soundscapes and orchestral arrangements, Giltrap mesmerizes with his nimble guitar flights, as on the folky prog of "Spring" or the epic title track, while "All the Days of May" is just gorgeous, melodic pop music that enchants on every level. It's not all upbeat and wispy however, with "The Light of the World" having more of a somber tone and the solo Giltrap piece "Loren" also taking a more poignant, emotional course, but for the most part, this is a very uplifting album that tugs at your very soul. "Work" is just lovely, a symphonic prog ride littered with Giltrap's deft picking, and Ward's fine church organ adds a majestic touch to the grand "The Anna Fantasia". Fairport Convention's Rick Sanders even shows up as a guest on the final track "A Promise Fulfilled", easily the albums brightest song and a lovely way to end this magical album.

The Last of England arrives here in early 2017 and signals a great start to the new year. Filled with memorable melodies and fantastic instrumentation, it's a can't miss instrumental album for anyone into folk based prog music with killer acoustic guitar work and symphonic keyboard arrangements. Well done guys!

Reviewer: Pete Pardo
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