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Rupert Wates - Elegies

  by Julie Cruickshank

published: 5 / 12 / 2023

Rupert Wates - Elegies
Label: Bute Music
Format: CD


Exquisite new album from folk guitarist and singer-songwriter Rupert Wates.

Rupert Wates, born in London and now based in New York City, has released his twelfth album, ‘Elegies’ in the wake of his success last year with the acclaimed ‘For the People’. A virtuoso folk guitarist, Wates has based many of the songs in ’Elegies’ on classical and Romantic texts. The album opens with ‘If I Ran To You’, an impressive aureole of bright, lively finger-picking. ‘Guinevere’ is a sweet exploration of the famous medieval love story; Wates is a fine poet, as his lyrics attest: “Guinevere you are pale and the veil that you wear becomes you ill/I would fain see thee again with your cheeks aflame”. Third track ‘The Storm’ has a brooding feel; Wates conjures an impression of swelling and tumbling waves through his guitar. ‘Lady of the Glades’, loosely derived from John Keats’ ‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci’, features rolling picked chords calling to mind Led Zeppelin’s ‘Bron-y-aur’. ‘Cathy’ strays into waltz time, while ‘(Like) Sunrise’ has a delicacy like dawn breaking: “Still pale is the dawn and wet with dew/ Before the sky is clear”. ‘The Man Who Worked in Clay and Stone’ has hints of jazz; ‘On a Midsummer Morning’ is a wistful elegy to time passing. ‘We’ll Go Dancing’ skips and twirls: “We’ll go dancing through the night/By the ancient city lights”. ‘Across the Water’ has the slight underlying drone of a Scottish traditional tune. Final track ‘Winter’ is a song of endings and a fitting coda to a wonderful album. Rupert Wates recorded the whole of ‘Elegies’ in a single day, accompanied on double bass by Trifon Dimitrov. A true troubadour indeed, Rupert Wates' astonishing talents as a guitarist and singer-songwriter are showcased to perfection in this elegant and graceful set of songs.

Track Listing:-
1 If I Ran To You
2 Guinevere
3 The Storm
4 Lady Of The Glades
5 Cathy
6 Like Sunrise
7 The Man Who Worked In Clay And Stone
8 On A Midsummer Morning
9 We'll Go Dancing
10 Across The Water
11 Winter

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