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Gordon Giltrap Gordon Giltrap & Oliver Wakeman: Ravens & Lullabies album cover
3.71 | 21 ratings | 3 reviews | 10% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2013

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Moneyfacturing (4:10)
2. Fiona's Smile (3:01)
3. From The Turn Of A Card (4:37)
4. LJW (4:08)
5. Maybe Tomorrow (3:26)
6. Wherever There Was Beauty (2:40)
7. Is This The Last Song I Write? (10:02)
8. A Mayfair Kiss (2:55)
9. Anyone Can Fly (4:48)
10. A Perfect Day (2:41)
11. Credit Carnival (5:38)
12. One For Billie (2:11)
13. Ravens Will Fly Away (4:50)

Total time 55:07

Bonus CD from 2013 reissue:
- Live recordings :
1. Nature's Way (5:52)
2. Isabella's Wedding (4:19)
3. Progress Of The Soul (4:44)
4. On Cumber Sands (3:59)
5. Lutey And The Mermaid (2:55)
- Studio Recordings :
6. Praeludium (4:51)
7. The Forgotten King (3:02)
8. Roots (4:30)

Total time 34:12

Line-up / Musicians

- Gordon Giltrap / electric & acoustic guitars, composer (2,5,6,9,12,13)
- Oliver Wakeman / piano, keyboards, guitar (7), backing vocals, composer (1,3-5,7-11,13), producer

- Paul Manzi / lead & backing vocals
- Benoit David / vocals (3)
- Steve Amadeo / bass
- Johanne James / drums, percussion

Releases information

Artwork: Liliana Sanches

CD Esoteric Antenna ‎- EANTCD 1013 (2013, UK)
CDx2 Esoteric Antenna ‎- EANTCD 21012 (2013, UK) Bonus disc with extra studio & live recordings

Thanks to SouthSideoftheSky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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GORDON GILTRAP Gordon Giltrap & Oliver Wakeman: Ravens & Lullabies ratings distribution

(21 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(10%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(60%)
Good, but non-essential (25%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

GORDON GILTRAP Gordon Giltrap & Oliver Wakeman: Ravens & Lullabies reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars The old folkie goes Neo-Prog!

That Gordon Giltrap would work with Oliver Wakeman is perhaps not so surprising given Giltrap's previous work with Oliver's father. But what is surprising is that they went for a Rock album rather than a pure acoustic guitar and piano album in the style of From Brush & Stone (the album that Gordon made with Rick Wakeman a few years back). For Ravens & Lullabies, Gordon and Oliver enlisted Karl Groom as producer. Groom (apart from being a founding member of progressive Metal band Threshold and Neo-Prog act Shadowland and several others) has previously produced albums by John Wetton, Pendragon, Galahad, Landmarq, and many others. Paul Manzi of Oliver Wakeman Band and Arena appear here on lead vocals, Johanne James of Threshold play the drums, and Steve Amadeo the bass. Benoit David of Mystery and with whom Oliver has recently played in Yes contributes a guest vocal on From The Turn Of A Card.

I've read somewhere that this is Gordon Giltrap's return to Rock music after decades of acoustic guitar albums. I haven't heard all of Giltrap's albums from the interim period, but I'll take their word for it. Here he plays both acoustic and electric guitar. Oliver similarly alternates between piano and various other keyboards in his characteristic style (which is strongly reminiscent of that of his father). The album as a whole is about half acoustic and half electric, and also half instrumental and half vocal. This makes for a nice variance. The Rockiest moments sounds quite like the Oliver Wakeman Band. Surprisingly hard-edged and heavy for an old Folk guitarist, but it works!

The weakest link here is the lyrics which often appear a bit naive and simplistic. The worst case of this is the opener Moneyfactoring, but also Is This The Last Song That I Write has some banal lyrics. Manzi's vocals are ok, but I was never too impressed with his bluesy/soulful voice. Maybe they should have opted for an all instrumental album, or have let Benoit David sing all the songs? In my opinion, Ravens & Lullabies is not as consistently good as the (all instrumental) album that Oliver did with another legendary guitarist, Steve Howe: The 3 Ages Of Magick.

Still, Ravens & Lullabies is a rather good album and a very welcome return of Gordon Giltrap to progressive territory

Review by kenethlevine
4 stars Guitarist GORDON GILTRAP appears to have an "in" with the WAKEMAN family, having collaborated with the patriarch in the past, including a 2009 album, and following it up in 2013 with OLIVER. My only prior exposure to Rick's eldest son was through his respectable performance on STRAWBS' last studio release "Dancing to the Devil's Beat". "Ravens and Lullabies" is similar to that effort in the sense that Wakeman's flourishes tend to be tasteful and complement the other instrumentation rather than co-opt leadership. Where it differs, to its credit, is in being a true collaboration, with both artists participating in generally thoughtful songwriting and dividing musical labours more or less down the middle. The inclusion of PAUL MANZI scales the vocals to the same elevation as the music.

This is a superb crossover prog album with symphonic, folk, and neo prog adornments, which is apparently a return to this genre for Giltrap after decades in a purely folk realm. It brims with emotional lyrics, intoxicating melodies, and pellucid production. "Moneyfacturing" is a born opener driven by a 12 string attack and acerbic lyrics. "From the Turn of the Card" includes BENOIT DAVID, ex of YES, on guest lead vocals and its initially awkward lyrics are quickly forgotten by the time the vibrant chorus enters. I assume "LJW" is dedicated to a Wakeman, perhaps Oliver's other half, and its essentially a marvelous piano solo filled in by delicate acoustic guitar. "Maybe Tomorrow" is a radiant PENDRAGON styled ballad driven primarily by voice and Giltrap's acoustic guitar. "Wherever There was Beauty" reprises the style of Giltrap's late 1970s olde Englishe instrumentals but with amelioration in orchestration thanks to Oliver.

Other highlights include the jaunty piano led "A Perfect Day", which blends the folk and classical roots touchingly; another optimistic ballad "Anyone can Fly" and the closer "Ravens will Fly Away", both of which count the two gentleman as partners in every aspect. The latter reminds me of ELTON JOHN at his best, or maybe the gentler solo work of DAMIAN WILSON.

"Credit Carnival" has the foreboding aspect of the orchestrated studio version of the BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST classic "Medicine Man", or early ALAN PARSONS, but with blazing keys that clearly set it apart, and surprisingly heavy guitars. It presents as a companion to "Moneyfacturing". But the most absorbing track is by far the longest, that being "Is this the last Song I write", a song within a song that lays bare the artist's insecurities in a manner not heard since STRAWBS' "Hanging in the Gallery". You are only as good as your last concert, your last album, your last autograph, and you cannot know your legacy during your lifetime. Perhaps the most triumphant aspect of this relatively complex and gratifying piece is how it avoids sounding self important or melodramatic. It is relevant for anyone who strives for any achievement in life, in whatever form, especially if one loves one's work and derives a degree of self esteem from it. From a well arranged gentle song it transforms into a more enigmatic rocker and back again. The only constant is attention to detail and emphasis on inducing receptivity to the album's title theme through the melody and arrangements.

While clearly influenced by all the aforementioned artists and many others, this association by two of the best in their fields paradoxically yields far more than it has any right to, which ought to be a testament to the purity of the motivations of Mr Giltrap and Wakeman. They are even going on tour. Whether the lullabies put you at ease or the ravens set you on edge, they are who they are, and they know themselves.

Review by kev rowland
4 stars It has been quite a while since I have heard new music from either Gordon Giltrap or Oliver Wakeman, so I was very intrigued indeed when I saw that this album had been released. Gordon is arguably Britain's finest acoustic guitarist, and his album 'Elegy' is so beautiful that it should be in every music lover's collection. Oliver on the other hand is probably more well known for being his father's son than for his own music, which is not right at all. The two albums he recorded with Clive Nolan are wonderful, with 'Hound of the Baskervilles' being indispensible, and the last album of his that I heard, 'Mother's Ruin', is also worth investigation. So, given what I knew of the background of these guys I expected to have an album full of acoustic guitar and piano/keyboard interplay and while there is some of that, there certainly isn't as much as I expected.

Although there are times, especially on the second disc, when it is just Gordon and Oliver there are others where it is a full band. Karl Groom has produced the album, and it is his Threshold colleague Johanne James who provides drums, while Paul Manzi (Arena, Oliver Wakeman Band) and Benoit David (Mystery, and of course he was with Yes when Oliver was with them) provide vocals, while Steve Amadeo provides bass. I have only really thought of Gordon as playing acoustic guitar but he does also venture onto an electric while Oliver of course provides all manner of keyboards.

The album is fairly fractured in the sense that some numbers are beautiful instrumental duets while others are more band based and prog/AOR but instead of coming across as a jumble of ideas the result instead is one where each style stands up very much in it' own right but also provides a stronger emphasis on the others than it might otherwise have had. It is an album of delicacy and beauty, something that showcases the instrumental prowess of all involved without saying "look at me, aren't I clever?". Over the last few years I have listened a great deal to Wakeman senior's work, an d was lucky enough last year to catch him at a piano concert here in NZ, and his style has obviously rubbed off on his son as there are times when Oliver's pianowork is just like his dad's, but it all adds to the joy of what is a wonderful album.

The version I am listening to has an additional disc that contains some additional in concert and studio work and the in concert material which feature sonly Gordon and Oliver is actually what I expected the whole album to sound like before playing it, acoustic music that combines and interplays as two great musicians create something of beauty. Overall this is a wonderful album, and I can only hope that they decide to take this journey further and record together again. For more details visit

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