MODERN fingerpicking scion Jim Ghedi has announced he’s releasing a new album in January; and he’s just released a video and short film for the first single to be taken from it, “Beneath The Willow”. Have a watch, below.

And with the times we live in ever darker, ever more strewn with polarisation, he’s coming upfront a little more, vocally, in comparison to his last set, 2018’s brilliant A Hymn For Ancient Land.

Whilst he’s often been happier working with just guitar intricacy as his voice previously, January’s In The Furrow Of Common Place see him dig deeper for a set recorded over one week on the Outer Hebridean island of Lewis last January.

“There were things I was seeing around me and being affected by in my daily life,” he says. “Socially and politically I saw defiance but also hopelessness. I wanted to be honest with the frustration and turmoil I was experiencing.”

“I’ve been exploring contemporary issues and in that process discovering sources that correlate with similar issues in the past,” he says. “Which proves that these issues throughout history – environmental destruction, working class poverty etc – are ongoing.”

You can see this approach at work in the short film for “Beneath The Willow”, below; it was shot by director John Carroll in and around Jim’s home stomping ground of Sheffield and the Peak District – but it’s intercut with imagery and footage of key moments in working class history: the Kinder Scout mass trespass, the Battle of Orgreave.

He says: “The idea behind this music video was to portray the history and culture behind Sheffield and the surrounding region: showcasing the industrial heritage, how people worked and lived, and conflict that arose through the years for working-class people like the Battle of Orgreave and the miner’s strike.

“The film also looks at the Peak District National Park and how this wide-open, green space was a haven for the workers away from the smoky city; but even this space had to be fought for, with access originally being restricted to small footpaths in limited areas in order for rich landowners to shoot grouse. This ultimately lead to the Mass Trespass of 1932, when a group of brave volunteers intentionally broke the law in order to bring awareness to their cause.

“Their actions, and many more, paved the way for the ‘Right to Roam’ being enshrined in law throughout the UK, which gave access to mountain and moorland for all.

“As this history is showcased through old stock footage, we follow our protagonist Keith How as he reflects on his life, enjoying his right to roam in the countryside. He journeys to the high point of a hill where he uses his art to capture the landscape.”

Jim Ghedi’s In The Furrow Of Common Place will be released by Basin Rock on January 22nd, 2021 on digital download, CD, and vinyl; there’s also a rather lovely doublepack bundle with his last album, A Hymn For Ancient Land. Pre-order yours at Bandcamp, here.