Leigh Gregory emerged last year with a stunningly crafted CD wrapped in luxurious elegance and antiquarian artistic values. Now he's returned to grace the landscape with another spellbinding offering, this time a touch folkier. Rest Your Weary Head is a logical extension of Rainy Season Never Ends (here), kind of like Donovan meeting Leonard Cohen by the Thames in order to trade secrets with John Cale. The result, of course, is instantly vintage.
Gregory's voice is whisperier on this CD, as The Prisoner strongly exemplifies, catching a side current of Nick Cave and the subtly ominous. The electric guitar, when it erupts, muscularly recalls Dave Lambert (Strawbs) but the emphasis is on lush instrumentation weaving a tapestry of pastorality like a Boucher canvas or a rural Rousseau. Nothing rocks out, everything is laid back into promenades, gardens, and thickets sparkling with dewdrops, fogs, and afternoon suns dipping below a bank of clouds to exude shafts of streaming luminescence...sometimes viewed from a child's playroom (the instrumental "Nocturne").
Rest Your Weary Head is moody to a fault, as contemplative as the somberest deep of Fall, dripping with reflections and lament but brocaded in gilt acoustic guitars and tracey organ backgrounds shrouding Gregory's voice in misty vistas and the onset of night. Both baroque and renaissance in its airs, troubadorial but with court patronage, the CD sits just as comfortably in refined pubs and parlors as chambers and drawing rooms. Don't, however, settle just for this; also go back and dig into Rainy Season Never Ends, as the two bookend each other.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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