Adrian Glynn's 'Ghostlight Sessions' Is a Haunting Dispatch from an Empty Theatre
Published Jun 18, 2020Adrian Glynn was in Kamloops for rehearsals of Chelsea Hotel: The Songs of Leonard Cohen (in which he would return to his role as "The Writer") when the pandemic forced rehearsals to stop. Glynn remained in Kamloops and was given a key to the Western Canada Theatre, where he used the empty stage to record Ghostlight Sessions. (The album will be available for download by donation on Bandcamp, with a portion of the proceeds going to the NAACP and BIPOC-COVID-related organizations.)
Aside from being an actor, Glynn is a member of the award-winning folk group the Fugitives as well as a solo musician. In Ghostlight Sessions, there is an essence of Glynn that is permitted to shine here. The unique timbre of his voice rises and falls in pitch alongside folky but interesting guitar riffs. In solitude, there is the sense that one can — or even must — stretch into all the nooks and crannies of one's existence and utilize all internal tools, and this can certainly be heard from Glynn in Ghostlight Sessions.
While the album remains firmly rooted in Euro/North American folk tradition, it also has a poignant self-awareness. "Hammer" pays homage to "If I Had a Hammer" while casting a skeptical light on a privileged armchair revolutionary. The lyrical style of this song is similar to that of Dan Bern.
"Talkin' Suicidal Depression Blues" is a glimmer of The Fugitives' reputation as spoken-word artists. The rambling lyrics accompanied by music render it reminiscent of Bob Dylan. At just over four minutes long, this is the longest track of the album (no overdrawn ballads here) and, while it does get depressing, it's also whimsical.
A "ghostlight" refers to a light in a theatre that remains on after the theatre is closed. Ghostlight Sessions is a reminder that, even when everything is shut down, there is an energy that remains. (Independent)