- New Buryin' Ground The Grace Machine 4:32
- Wade in the Water The Grace Machine 5:22
- Hold On The Grace Machine 3:53
- When the Sun Goes Down The Grace Machine 3:12
- Feel Like Going On The Grace Machine 4:08
- Lay Your Burden Down The Grace Machine 3:23
- Stand By Me The Grace Machine 4:49
- Wayfaring Stranger The Grace Machine 4:21
- Amazing Grace The Grace Machine 4:11
- Follow the Drinking Gourd The Grace Machine 2:40
- Jesus on the Mainline The Grace Machine 3:21
This year has been tough for us all. I don't know about you, but I've certainly felt I’ve needed a bit of hope and comfort. Along the way I was drawn to revisit some old spirituals and slave songs. Many of these songs go back hundreds of years and were shaped in the unimaginable trials of black slavery and popularised in the early 20th century. Early recordings of them are mostly very rough, but still impart a powerful mixture of the agony and hope, joy and sorrow, that these communities endured. They are also songs of great longing which carry real hope for the future - and that’s what deeply resonated with me.
Despite a century or so passing and thousands of miles, I felt a real connection with the stories and their validity for today. With that in mind, I wanted to bring a new interpretation to them, to honour the power of the originals and bring them alive once again. As I launched into it, I was hooked and what developed was an electric, bluesy gospel sound.
In the process I invited friend and drummer/producer Terl Bryant to play on it. Terl had worked on previous material with me, but with this we felt a special connection and the idea to develop a collaboration was born. So, I'm delighted to announce the release of 'New Buryin' Ground' under the band name The Grace Machine.
The Grace Machine is me on guitar and vocals, Terl Bryant on drums and Matt Weeks on bass. We hope you enjoy it.
Love and Birdsong,
The Grace Machine is:
The Grace Machine is:
Massive thanks to:
"I’ve long been persuaded by the work of the avid researchers-into-origins-of-music, in whatever field, whether David Munrow’s Early Music Consort, Shirley Collins and Alan Lomax’s explorations, or the work of the earnest white blues revivalists of the 1960s (see Al Wilson, Bob Hite), the idea of getting as close to the roots as possible has also had that hint of authenticity for me. Such work has continued into the present with musicians tracking gospel music back to its roots in West Africa and even Gaelic-speaking Scotland and thence to the slave plantations of the Americas and Caribbean.
This track dates in part to prison work-gang songs (think Mayall’s “Parchman Farm"), researched by the likes of Alan Lomax’s father in the 1930s: a very promising place to begin.
Mix together some earthy and soaring electric guitar from Matt Steady, reminiscent of those 60s blues men, a more-than-healthy rhythm section (drums Terl Bryant, bass Matt Weeks) to drive the whole thing, and seductively-persuasive “Come along …” vocals, all interwoven and multi-layered in a very 2021 way, and you have “New Buryin’ Ground” from “The Grace Machine”. In short, excellent.
And, dare I say it, the whole thing points us straight back to times much, much earlier than 1930s chain gangs, and hints at much deeper roots.
If the promised album is anything like as good as this sample, there is a real treat in store."