SECRET GARDEN - AMY GODDARD
LCM ALBUM OF THE WEEK
Release Date: 18th April, 2016
Genre: Folk, Singer-Songwriter, Acoustic
Band: Amy Goddard, Jonathan Lewis, Andy Adams, Naomi Hitchings, DiEll, Tony Brown, Paul Fremantle and Brian Kutscher.
Location: Portsmouth, UK
Record Label: Amy Goddard Music (Independent)
Amy Goddard a singer-songwriter, music teacher and luthier originally from South Wales but now based in Portsmouth. Her very good debut album 'Burn and Glow' was released in 2014 and covered some serious subjects such as bullying and depression along with some more lighter themed tracks. Amy's second album 'Secret Garden' has a retro 70's trad feel about it. Some of the tracks reminded us of Pentangle's Jacqui McShee with hints of Joni Mitchell. The 14 track album includes 10 original songs and 2 covers, along with a WW1 song 'Gladdie' and an adaption of a Alfred Noyes poem 'The Highwayman'. The album was produced by Amy and Brian Kutscher. Amy was also in third place in last years 'LCM Favourite New Artist of The Year' as voted by LCM Group members
The album begins with 'Words of Sweet Music', a song about the power of music to reach our inner emotions when words alone fail. Some lovely finger-picked acoustic guitar coupled with Amy's ethereal and floating vocal and harmonies. A very good guitar solo too from Jonathan, who complements perfectly . 'If words should fail and speech run dry, If sight should dim and tears won't cry'
'Alright Again' is a song that was partly inspired by the pictures in the book 'I Had A Black Dog' by Matthew Johnstone which dealt with the subject of depression. 'When the beast come in the dead of the night and block out all that bright.....reach out for the light.'
A walled garden, a place of peace and tranquility is the subject of the title track 'Secret Garden'. 'Rest awhile within my walls. think awhile as memories call. Breathe the air so fresh and clean.....safe and peaceful quite unseen.'
Next a WW1 true story based on Amy's great grandmother 'Gladdie', which reached the semi-final of a UK Songwriting competition. Gladdie lost her first boyfriend in the trenches during WW1. She kept all his letters until her death at age 93 in 1985. This song was inspired by those letters. Some beautifully written, heartfelt and personal lyrics.
'New Day' was inspired by a quote by Mary Anne Radmacher 'Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying.....I will try again tomorrow'. 'Jessie's Song' was inspired by another quote this time by Emily Dickinson 'Dogs are better than humans because they know but they don't tell. The next track is based on the dark poem 'The Highwayman' by Alfred Noyes . Some very atmospheric hammered dulcimer by Tony Brown and whistle from Paul Fremantle.
'Rhythm Of The Road' is about a journey, maybe even the journey of life. It's a often a fact that who we travel with, is more important than where we're going. 'Miner's Lullaby' is a song about a mining area in Utah so dangerous that every miner carries a tin of morphine with them. If they were ever trapped and unable to get help they would be able to die peacefully and quickly. The lyrics are from the very famous Bruce 'Utah' Phillips with music by Jodi Stecher and Kate Brislin.
The next track the low-fi and atmospheric 'Stargazing' started life as in exercise in a songwriting workshop. It took on greater meaning when Amy visited the Sahara Desert and witness the stars as they should be seen, without the light pollution and in all their glory. She said she 'feel very small in the face of the wonder of the natural world'.
Inspired by a visit to Huntingtower Castle in Perthshire, the duet with 'The Maiden's Leap' is based on a local legend....one with a happy ending.....which is very unusual for a folk song as most don't end very well.
Written on the rugged North Cornish coast 'Near The Sea' is about the calming effects of the ocean, feeling the power of nature. 'Light Beyond The Clouds' was inspired by a musical partnership with Helen Harris. The song was based around the lyric that Helen suggested "like a ship on a turbulent sea, so the journey of our lives would be." 'What better way to end the album than with a classic and Amy's favourite Bruce Springsteen cover 'Dancing In The Dark'.