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Limited to only a few hundred copies on green vinyl.

This album effortlessly incorporates the West Coast trippy-ness of Quicksilver, Jefferson Airplane and Grateful Dead, albeit the more rural and laid-back side of these bands.

Gentle meandering jams.


Finally, it is among us – the rather overdue release from The Green Ray. It will be hard to approach its contents without a degree of justifiable sentiment. This is the first release of new material since a series of personnel changes. Firstly, there has been the sad passing of Ken Whaley in 2013 – a far from easy act to follow. Simon Haspeck departed the ranks too post Ken. All of which brought to the fore the revamped combo of Simon Whaley, Richard Treece, Jeff Gibbs and Martin James Gee. For the uninitiated, Jeff took on the bass duties while Ken was coping with his illness and Martin bolstered the team having become well-known to regular Raysters from Mouthful Of Grass sets and some tasty acoustic support slots at the Cricket Club. Matters had a final twist with Richard’s untimely passing just over 2 years ago.

So, this is the final appearance of one of THE most gifted British guitar players of both his generation and genre. However, this belated release is here to be judged on its own merits rather than any maudlin sentiment for what has been lost.

Proceedings open up with the lengthy “Planes Crashing Into Birds” – a gentle flowing tempo with some great guitar work spread amongst the players. Listen keenly and you will find some delightful runs behind the main theme. The track gathers momentum with yet more sparkling guitar play. “State Of Grace” follows and it is, during these early listens, the standout track with some great lyrics and melody. More mellowness as “Halfway” arrives with its acoustic intro with yet more beautiful playing and arranging. Matters move back into more lengthy territory allowing the players to stretch and flex with “Strange Bargains” – as it moves towards its conclusion the players cut loose and Richard delivers some real fire.

A great laid-back vibe heralds “On Our Way To The Sun” which conveniently seques into a clever little acoustic strum and pick of “Rays Of Light”. The pastoral tranquillity receives a jolt as the rockiest number, “Silent River Ride”, opens up with all guitars blazing. Drums and bass seem to enjoy their respective moments of being in the driving seat.

As for the closing (and Title Track) “Half Sentences” it’s so poignant a moment to hear Richard speaking in his own inimitable style recalling a moment he fell asleep on stage at The Speakeasy in the company of “happening people” at the time. A touching finale – all we’re left missing is the trademark smile of thanks and the wave of the peace sign – may your post mortal home be filled with the light and love you gave and left us with.

Mention needs to be made as regards the artwork from the hand and mind of John Hurford – whether intentional or otherwise, it would not have been out of place adorning a Help Yourself release “back in the day”

Let’s forget about Richard and Ken being irreplaceable – that’s a given as they say. What we do have, and should treasure accordingly, is a great little disc and a combo still plying its trade to those who encounter their live forays. There is enough on offer here to please existing devotees and the lure of what may happen along next. As an End Of Term Report the overriding comment would be “Keep Up The Good Work” – we await Further Adventures as and when they are ripe to be harvested. In the meantime, it is to be hoped that this release finds ample punters and support in sufficient numbers to keep the legacy of Ken and Richard burning. Not only for us “elder groovers” but, for the musically inquisitive who missed the vibe first time round. Here’s to the continuing existence of The Green Ray, with Simon (now on guitars), Martin, Jeff and Mark Cullum (drums). 

- Richard Gould

Product Code (SB40)
Condition New

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