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Toby Hay and Jim Ghedi belong to a long, transatlantic lineage of musicians who use history, people, place, landscape and nature as ingredients for compositions on the 6 (or 12) strings of a guitar. The likes of John Fahey, Jack Rose, Robbie Basho, Davy Graham are ancestors. The current crop includes William Tyler, Marisa Anderson, Daniel Bachman and C Joynes. All these are artists who spend extensive time streaming through my speakers at home, at work and on the walk between the two. It's not traditional folk in the way of our wonderful spring night with Nick Hart, but it sure taps folk music – sometimes directly – for tone.
I originally heard Toby and Jim as a duo, on their excellent collaboration The Hawksworth Grove Sessions, via a well-targeted Spotify recommendation The Marcher Lords. I missed Jim at End of the Road festival last year due to an ill-timed clash and almost had tickets for Peter Broderick in Rhayader with Toby opening. Almost. Almost. I figured, if you can't get tickets, just book them. So I have. And I'm super stoked they can both join us here in the storied surroundings of The Forge. Two sets with material from their solo and collaborative works. Set to be an immersive, beautiful evening, one that would make their ancestors proud.
David Abbott, Seasons Round
Toby Hay is a guitarist and composer from near Rhayader in mid Wales. Inspired by history, people and landscape, Toby writes beautifully evocative guitar instrumentals that effortlessly transport the listener to the mountains and rivers of his homeland. Twice nominated for the Welsh Music Prize, Toby has toured the UK and Ireland extensively over the last few years and has built a reputation as a captivating live performer. His latest record, New Music For The 12 String Guitar was recorded at Real World Studios on a custom instrument built for Toby by Roger Bucknall of Fylde Guitars.
Toby Hay is able to convey multiple different emotions and represent multiple objects or landscapes, often simultaneously, and all with nothing more than a single instrument. This is the sign of a master musician at work, and Hay certainly fits that description. It is only two years since his debut and he is already one of the finest guitarists of his generation.
Jim Ghedi produces an alternative take on classic folk ideas, exploring themes on landscape and history. Incorporating 6 & 12 string guitar composition, orchestral arrangements and traditional folk song. MOJO magazine praised his most recent album A Hymn For Ancient Land by calling it “Melodically sublime and infused with tradition”, while The Financial Times said “This is landscape music… landscape art. In 2020 Jim will be performing new material from forthcoming album (planned to be released late summer) with his band using more of a focus on self-written and traditional material.
Melodically sublime... although Ghedi's music is infused with tradition, it's very much experiencing the present