As an author, singer-songwriter, guitarist, presenter, inspirational speaker, paranormal investigator, radio host, and storyteller; and former screen-printer, English and history teacher, and ministry programs director, it’s really no surprise that the man known as, Gordon Thomas Ward, has also been dubbed, New Jersey’s Troubadour.
Given his first guitar at the age of eleven, just a few years later he was already a songwriter at fourteen. That long, tenured relationship with his instrument of choice has resulted in a level of vocational skill that has seen him share the stage with the likes of Natalie Merchant, The Boxcar Lilies, and others.
Ward’s previous work, the warm and heartfelt narrative piece, Welcome To The Past (2013), established the substantive, storytelling-style with which he’s so famously acquainted by his fans. The spirit of that album has now grown into something a bit more omnipresent, something even more relevant and universally applicable: the one part sage—one part advocate—all parts heart, Providence (to be released on August 30, 2018).
HERE’S WHAT WE DUG MOST…
Violin, classical guitar, and what sounds to be harpsichord, bravely open the the first 2:06 of track 1 with an absolutely beautiful instrumental stretch in, Acadia Lament – Names Into Stones. The song then transitions quickly into a rock-infused piece of Americana with a theme of consciousness-exploration and a nice little electric solo from 4:35-5:19…
“We all forge our fortunes and gather the days
Reaping from seeds we have sown
Winding our way through the gardens and graves
Etching our names into stones…”
The lap-steel-laced, country ballad, Destiny, feels like James Taylor cut a track with Neil Young. Songs of the searching soul will never go out of style with guys like Gordon writing songs like this…
“Cause I’m lookin’ for my destiny
She’s waiting for me just around the bend
She’s my lifetime’s list of love and lost, a face for every mile
Oh destiny, I’ll meet you at the end…”
The gently minimalist and acoustic, Just One More, reminds us that time always wins the race, and to live our lives as honestly and zestfully as possible.
OUR FAVORITE TRACK…
Well, there may be no sweeter sound than a slide acoustic guitar. I’m not trying to get into an argument here, but the opening :45 of, The Horseman, gets it done musically in this Gothic and ghostly legend of a wandering soul. Fiddle and kick offer attitude one might not expect in consideration of the track’s predecessors. With its figurative and literal possibilities, and trippy ending, it’s our favorite track.
“Horseman, horseman, can you see
The fear of you inside of me…”
With a fine piece of flat-picking, the once again minimalist, One Kiss, crafts a story of the different kinds of love which span a lifetime; urging all to enjoy the moment with those present.
Enthusiastic. Genuine. Finely-aged. Gordon Thomas Ward’s sophomore effort, Providence, offers a rare bit of authenticity and agenda-less creativity which can serve to elevate fans and musicians alike with its articulate themes and attention to technical detail. As a musician, it really only took a few bars of the first track to identify a brand of veteran musicianship that can only come with time, and a brand of songwriting that can only come with life-lived. All in all, traditional, acoustic-based melodies and themes unite tastefully with just the right amount of modern effects and production to create an album which fans of the folk, Americana, and singer-songwriter genres will enjoy.
Neil Young meets Sid Hagan…
BELOW: Listen to music from Gordon Thomas Ward’s latest EP, Providence, and connect with his website and social media platforms. Please support Gordon Thomas Ward by visiting him online, and playing, downloading, and/or purchasing his music, or attending a live show! And, as always, thank you for supporting real music!