The Ghost of HW Beaverman
(Self released CD, http://www.myspace.com/folkloreband)
*****/5 Star rating
A gentle stroll to the St. Lawrence River afforded James Hughes the
wonderments of the home made board of the Ouija and the discovery of
H.W. Beaverman, a character many believe to be fictionalised, whose
roots run deep in Northern New York State, although his legend is somewhat
elusive to the legions of tourists, campers and other irregulars of
the Thousand Islands.
This discovery birthed the masterpiece that is The Ghost of H.W.
Beaverman, which contains a certain melancholy on each song throughout
the album, most of which feature clean cut guitars (not unlike the three
stringed boogie wonder of Seasick Steve) driving percussion and a single
horn which when placed alongside each other make for a truly enchanting
and euphoric listen.
A crashed computer and a distinct lack of research from my part resulted
in my reading of the liner notes (of which are usually received with
a minimal of interest and hastily discarded of), and readily bestowed
upon the listener to give yet further insight into the concept of the
album, the discovery of the centralised character, and most importantly,
the legend behind the character in which the album so passionately revolves.
Folklore have an unbridled ability to delve into the psyche of even
the most cold hearted of souls, and require just the slightest of efforts
to allow them to ruminate reassuringly within ones sub conscience.
The almost cliché use of South Londons very
own Adem Ilham to describe Folklore is becoming formulaic in its expression,
but relevant nonetheless.
As music thats emotionally provocative and cathartic as a direct
result of passion and for the sake of being those very things this release
is an unqualified success; maybe due to the fact that the album enrols
countless contributors to lend the voices to become the townsfolk local
to H.W. to tell the back story in their own words.
Having only heard of Jimmy Hughes and his contributions peripherally
prior to the listening of this elegantly haunting and complex concept
album, I approached the release with an air of curiosity. Elegantly
wrapped (but poorly folded) and rousing enough to spur the most ill
educated of the socially inept into becoming a hobo, wildlife conservationist,
or at least join the local scouts, the album effortlessly provides any
listener with the assurance that the content within will more than justify
such an exquisite exterior and back story. But perhaps the most refreshing
contributing factor is that the album itself does not feel restrained
where many other similar groups that saturate this notorious genre of