Review Archive

‘Northern Soul’ from John and Sheila Ludgate - an essentially tranquil experience

(June 12, 2013)

Listening to ‘Northern Soul’ from John and Sheila Ludgate is an essentially tranquil experience that northern soulcombines folk and rock in equal measures. There’s a time-slip feeling to this music – the years fall away as it slides faultlessly from the emotive touch of late sixties folk rock to the sharpness of examining the world from today’s perspective. It’s also a distinct family affair with every artist on the album bearing the ‘Ludgate’ name – and why not? If your sons can handle guitars and drums like this, then go for it. The family that plays together …

From the guitar emphasis of the aptly named ‘Electric Guitars’ with its echoes of Beatles and Dylan through the rich celebration of ‘Northern Soul’ to the pulsing heartbeat of ‘One Thing’s For Certain’ with its conscious acceptance of change, these songs could sit as mile markers along routes that many of us travel. John’s soulful lyrics live through his warm vocals, along with sons Anthony on acoustic and Luke on electric guitar, while Sheila on bass and Shane on drums and percussion lay down a solid rhythm.

The depth of personal feeling poured into this music is evident through the tender recollections of loss and pain in ‘Requiem For Love’ and the untainted honesty and forgiveness within ‘Fine Line’ – both with powerful guitar breaks. Then there’s the social commentary of ‘Inside Job’ which rages against the hype and mendacity that rolls around big money, and with its simple message and homage to Lennon ‘Let’s Just Say …’ touches a nerve in all of us.

You can find John and Sheila Ludgate here: johnandsheilaludgate.com

Reviewer: Tom Franks

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