Jack Sharp – Good Times Older

Album Review | From Here Records | Review by Allan Wilkinson | Stars: 4/5

Produced by Stick in the Wheel’s Ian Carter, Jack Sharp’s debut solo album Good Times Older finds the Wolf People front man in good voice, accompanying himself on a crisp sounding guitar, not unlike that of Nic Jones during his heyday. Taking his home county of Bedfordshire as a starting place, the mixture of traditional songs, originals and the one non-original, “God Dog”, written by Robin Williamson and memorably performed by Shirley and Dolly Collins on the acclaimed Anthems in Eden record back in the late 1960s, provides a varied and enjoyable programme.

The guitar playing is highly accomplished throughout and complements Jack’s exceptionally assured voice on all eleven songs. Carter’s band mate Nicola Kearey adds harmonies here and there, while also designing the cover, with further embellishments courtesy of Laura Smyth on concertina and Edwin Ireland on cello. Recorded at Elstow Moot Hall, the performances have a live feel throughout, the hall’s acoustics most noticeable on the unaccompanied “Jug of This”, all of which remains crisp and clear for the duration. Good Times Older really does evoke the feel of Penguin Eggs, Sweet Wivelsfield and A Handful of Earth, which is both refreshingly nostalgic as well as being bang up to date contemporary at the same time.

Choice Track: Lacemaker (NSV 501)