R W Hedges

Many thanks to the Wonderfulsound folks for managing to get their latest subscription single out in the post in time for Christmas arrival. And arrive it did and wish much adoring here. A Christmas card from the head honcho Miles, a bespoke coffeecup mat, a handbill and of course, this month’s jukebox dinked single selection which happens to be from R W Hedges. Three tracks parade the grooves, all nabbed from his current full length set ‘the hills are old songs’. Like rediscovered memories or forgotten family fancies found in a dusty loft, the gently rambling and affectionate craft of R W Hedges is cut with a wonderfully warm golden age nostalgia that are marooned in a mellowed glow, the lightness of touch, the harmonies and the reclining way of it all just screams irresistible, it’s something that to these ears at least, recalls those Ben Vaughn releases that were flipped out of the Shoeshine imprint to a disturbing lack of critical fuss, that old school songwriting vintage, alas seldom heard these days. Both ‘girl in the shop’ and ‘prairie moon’ featured here are harvested such, the latter especially ghosted with a desirably demurred porch lit distilling that sparks a yearnful inner warmth while the former, haloed in heartbreak and sorrow is touched with the mercurial of a vulnerable Paddy McAloon. However, for us at least, the teasingly brief ‘trail of the setting sun’ is the main event here, a Western forlorn sighed with a bruising lonesome with a supporting choral cast that on another day, would easily fit somewhere on the ‘paint your wagon’ soundtrack or else some Spaghetti Western character incidental.


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