Ben Glover – ‘The Emigrant’ | Album Review
By Stephen McGurk
The Emigrant is fraught with feelings of being in limbo, doubt and the unknowing that surges with shifting life to a new country – something Irish people have long been accustomed to, but still aren’t wholly comfortable with.
Ben Glover, dealing with these sentiments, summons poignant traditional songs and original compositions to direct us through the album. ‘Heart In My Hand’ and the hauntingly uplifting title-track redress anything Glover has gleaned from Irish music. Adding to the tradition and giving this project a consistent theme, he digs through ideas of home for the body and for the mind.
‘The Parting Glass’ and ‘Moonshiner’ are as welcome on this album as they would be on Bruce Springsteen’s The Seeger Sessions. Purposeful yet minimal production permits Ben’s voice to effect the listener, granting time to consider the lyrics and the emotions. Ben renders his songs through arising heartbreak and hope associated with separation from a land and a life. “May they wander/ May they ramble/ May they never be lost,” he implores on ‘Dreamers, Pilgrims, Strangers’ as a prayer for the many others facing the same emigration predicament.