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Songs from the Solway (Special Edition Reissue)
4.5

4.5

Stars

Songs from the Solway (Special Edition Reissue)

Gandalf's Fist

533

#

UK

I finally got the chance to dive into Gandalf’s Fist’s re-released EP, "Songs from the Solway (Special Edition Reissue)," which will be released on April 15th, this coming Monday. Despite being labeled as an EP, this offering from the UK-based neo-prog band is considerably substantial, featuring eight tracks that span a solid 36 minutes. Honestly, it feels like the ideal length for this work. Dean Marsh, deeply involved in both the original production and the re-release, shares that the EP was quickly put together in the winter of 2011 but felt it hadn’t been given its due at the time. This special edition aims to rectify that, with the material remixed, remastered, and even enhanced with new instrumentation.

The EP recounts folk tales and stories from Marsh’s home county of Cumbria—a region rich with the lore of kings, warriors, and ghosts. These narratives, many of which have faded from common knowledge, are vividly brought to life, making this release not just a musical journey but a fascinating historical exploration. It truly captures the spirit of the time, sea, and legends of the day. The lineup since the original has also expanded, with the inclusion of musicians like Natasha Jaffe on cello and Faliq Auri on Uilleann pipes, adding a distinct depth and authenticity to the music not found in the original.

Gandalf's Fist

For fans old and new, this special edition serves as a wonderful reintroduction to some of the band’s foundational and most compelling work. This release is both a restoration and a celebration of a key offering from the band’s early creative output, now finally given the spotlight it deserves.

The packaging of this special edition also deserves mention, complete with new artwork inspired by an original watercolor by Ronnie Collins, and a full-color booklet that explores the folklore of Northern England. These elements not only add to the collector’s value but also enhance the overall experience, providing context and visual storytelling that complements the auditory journey.

While the EP may be brief in terms of total runtime, its content is both substantive and reflective of the band’s commitment to quality and their roots in neo-prog music. For fans old and new, this special edition serves as a wonderful reintroduction to some of the band’s foundational and most compelling work. This release is both a restoration and a celebration of a key offering from the band’s early creative output, now finally given the spotlight it deserves.

Upon its release this Monday, April 15th, you can start hearing many of these tracks in our New Music rotation at Prog Radio. The release is also ideally timed for this week’s “What’s New Proggy Cats?” show on Monday and Tuesday.

4.5 Stars

Released:
Run Time:
Highlights:
Reviewer:
Apr 15, 2024
36 min
The Regency Rascal • The Unforgiving Sea • The Beckfoot Gypsy • The Dunmail Stones
Kevin Carmony
Buy/Stream:
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