"4,000 Miles To Nashvillle" Review

"I first became aware of Ben Glover last July, when I saw him support Gretchen Peters at a gig in The High Barn, in Essex. I was a fan from the first song of his set and after chatting to him later in the evening, I had a feeling his 4th album was going to be something very special. Well, that was an understatement to say the least.

When Atlantic popped through my letterbox I was excited, and proceeded to tell my wife that this was the one I had been talking about. She gave me that look that quite often follows me saying something, but undeterred I scuttled off to listen. "This World is A Dangerous Place" sets the mood for the album with delicate and beautifully atmospheric guitar picking. Ben's soft vocals join a few seconds later, and immediately it's that voice that oozes passion. That's the beauty of Ben's singing, whether it be a song like this, or a more gravelly track like "Oh Soul" that follows it, you feel every single word, every bit of pain, joy or whatever mood Ben is putting across.

Mary Gauthier said at this year's Maverick Festival that it's hard to define Americana, but you know it when you hear it, and I'm pretty sure I hear it in this album. It's songwriting of the absolute highest standard, and when you consider as well as Ben's own hugely skilled writing ability, he drafted in the likes of the aforementioned Mary Gauthier, it really should come as to surprise to anyone just how good it is.

The songs on "Atlantic" have so much depth and substance that I almost feel like I can reach out and touch them, and none more so than "Blackbirds". Gretchen Peters is another of Ben's friends and writing partners, and on this song, singing partner too. This is a song that I don't want to say too much about, as like a good film or book, I don't want to spoil the story for you. Let me just say that this one of those rare songs that can have a very profound effect on you and I was moved on the first listen and every time since. It's a pretty dark song but there is such beauty in the vocals and the lyrics, with Ben and Gretchen pulling off one of the most intense and magnificent duets I have ever heard. If I drunk whiskey I think I'd want to drink it listening to this song but gin and tonic will have to do. While there is incredible weight to a lot of the songs, "Atlantic" does over some great upbeat tunes too. "Sing A Song Boys" is a great example of this, which in both words and sound harks back to Ben's Irish roots. I can imagine this being sung with Ben sitting on a stool in a pub just as much as on a bigger stage. "True Love's Breaking My Heart" brings in more of a country sound and could quite happily been written and performed 50 years ago in Nashville - both the vocals and the sound have a sumptuously classic old Nashville feel. Ben has such a great way with words, personified by "How Much Longer Can we Bend," a song about a strained relationship and questioning it's future. I can't really say enough good things about "Atlantic," an album that has come along at the same time as some pretty huge releases from mainstream Americana artists, and blows them all away with ease. Lyrics, vocals, mood, emotion - there really is nothing missing from Atlantic, an album that is pretty much perfect. In an ideal world "Atlantic" would be played on ever radio station the world over, and become a classic album for years to come. For me it will do just that, and if you have as much for music as you think you do, you'll grab a copy and join me in waxing lyrical"

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