Guitarist and keyboard player Dave Bainbridge was scheduled to leave his native England to marry his American fiancé in the spring of 2020, just as the pandemic was spreading around the world. When the U.S. closed its borders days before his scheduled wedding, it forced a nearly nine-month separation as Bainbridge and his fiancé waited to be together. So Bainbridge, one of the founders of the band Iona, spent his time creating music to express his feelings. The result is the album To the Faraway.
Bainbridge has a long history of merging Celtic and folk influences with pop and rock music, a style that serves him particularly well in this recording. He is also not afraid of tackling big themes. In the song “Ghost Light,” for example, he explores a metaphor that, in England, when a theater is empty, a single light is often left on, typically on a stand in the middle of the stage indicating that, although the theater is empty, they will return. He ends this nearly 14-minute piece with the words, “Ghost Light, God’s children waiting. True light will come.” In all of this, Bainbridge’s distinctive guitar comes through with emotion and warmth.
The entire album is rich with melodies and textures that bring us along as Bainbridge experienced the isolation of the pandemic. To the Faraway nicely expresses the sense of loss and yearning but also hope that Bainbridge experienced while he waited for the world to open up again. This album can be purchased at davebainbridgemusic.com.