Glymjack is an English folk act led by acclaimed singer-songwriter Greg McDonald.
Featuring Show of Hands legends Phil Beer and Steve Knightley alongside Miranda Sykes, and Sam Kelly percussionist Evan Carson, Glymjack’s debut album Light the Evening Fire has been called “as good as contemporary folk comes” by Acoustic.
Throughout 2018, Glymjack tour as an acoustic trio with Greg joined by fiddle virtuoso Gemma Gayner and bassist Dickon Collinson, delivering a high energy, harmony-rich set of hard-hitting originals, English folk songs and fiddle tunes.
The term “Glymjack” is Victorian criminal underworld slang for a street child who led strangers through the streets of London at night with a lantern.
Phil Beer’s and Steve Knightley’s roles in the making of the Light the Evening Fire album
mark the creative zenith of a musical relationship that began when a teenage Greg drunkenly cornered the pair with a demo at a gig – an incident, immortalised in the Show of Hands song “Be Lucky”, which would lead to song-writing sessions, studio collaborations, and to Greg joining the Phil Beer Band.
Greg’s award-winning songs have previously been called “genius” (Rolling Stone), “captivating” (Q magazine), and “enough to remind you why you got into music in the first place” (Tom Robinson, BBC 6music), while Gemma’s virtuosic skill has seen her celebrated as a “powerhouse instrumentalist” (fRoots) and “a force to be reckoned with” (Maverick).
Light the Evening Fire’s acoustic-roots sound belies the album’s unflinching vision of Brexit Britain, as it takes aim at social issues from immigration to homelessness. Set against that darkening landscape, closing epic Bright Sparks draws inspiration from fourteenth century revolutionary John Ball and suffragette Emily Davison, folk heroes who, for McDonald, personify “an alternative, progressive, radical English tradition”