Jack Sharp – Good Times Older (2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 32:57 minutes | 640 MB | Genre: Pop
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © From Here Records
In his day job as the frontman of Wolf People, Jack Sharp has spent the last decade creating a back catalogue that sits somewhere in the middle of a mystic triangle created by Fairport Convention, Jethro Tull and Black Sabbath. While Wolf People’s output has grown progressively heavier and more psychedelic over the course of four albums (as well as more conceptual – 2016’s Ruins imagines a world without human life), Sharp’s work as a solo artist remains staunchly rooted in the folk music of the British Isles. But while the songs are often from traditional sources, the results are every bit as unique as his full-band psych-rock freakouts.
Good Times Older (released by Stick In The Wheel’s From Here imprint) is Sharp’s full-length debut as a solo artist, but you wouldn’t know it – he makes for an accomplished troubadour and this format gives him space to explore the cracks, creases and nuances of his voice. There is a wisdom in his singing that sometimes gets lost amid the riff and squall of Wolf People, but is evident from the outset here. The title track, which opens the album, is a subtle examination of nostalgia, memory and loss. Thematically, it would not feel out of place on Ruins, but in terms of delivery, it owes more to Nic Jones or Nick Drake. The same could be said of the deceptively simple Maid’s Lament, which dances along on some nifty acoustic guitar. Soldier Song, one of Sharp’s own compositions, is a more sombre affair, though no less beautiful. It also provides a contemporary spin on traditional music’s way of confounding gender stereotypes and giving a voice to marginalised people. It takes some skill to write something that could easily pass for a traditional folk song, and even more skill to give that song a relevant message, but Sharp has managed it.
1. Jack Sharp – Good Times Older
2. Jack Sharp – Maids Lament
3. Jack Sharp – Soldier Song
4. Jack Sharp – Gamekeeper
5. Jack Sharp – God Dog
6. Jack Sharp – Lacemaker
7. Jack Sharp – White Hare
8. Jack Sharp – Jug of This
9. Jack Sharp – Northamptonshire Poacher
10. Jack Sharp – Treecreeper
11. Jack Sharp – May Morning Dew