Surrender to Ghostly Beard's brand of jazz-fusion soft rock on, 'Inward'

'Inward' Album Cover, Ghostly Beard

Mystery man Ghostly Beard upholds his mystique with the enigmatic moniker.  He prefers to hide his identity, choosing to keep his face a secret and to keep his music first.  The anonymous artist defies the times with his image or (non)-image, professing to keeping a genuine surface of work through facelessness.

Ghostly Beard explains:

“Not showing my face is a choice I’ve made as a reaction to our self/image-obsessed society, and it goes with my message which is to put the music forward and forget the faces.  What I look like, who I am is unimportant in the end.”

The man behind the shadows is Patrick Talbot.  Talbot dons many hats in the industry as a virtuoso singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist.  The mysterious artist recently came out of a 15-year musical retirement.  Since re-emerging in 2013, Talbot has compiled an eclectic catalog, amassing around 40 songs altogether.

Talbot’s musical career was jumpstarted as an acclaimed guitarist, who commandeered the instrument effortlessly and with extreme fluidity.  But eventually life got in the way and he got sidelined by trying to make a living and domestic responsibility.

Due to several liberating and life-changing circumstances, Talbot is now back doing what he knows best.  In the next coming months, Talbot will be releasing new material, through a series of EPs and albums, a collection that will cohesively depict Talbot’s palette for harnessing multiple genres into one multi-layered sound from soft rock, jazz, prog-rock, fusion, classic rock and much more. Talbot’s visionary kaleidoscope-packed music has esteemed him to such artists like Pink Floyd, James Taylor, Peter Gabriel, Cat Stevens, and Chicago.

Talbot’s third album, Inward, is no different.  The spectral guise that Talbot upholds has gone on to forge a lasting impression in the industry, and with this solid record release, Talbot proves that he is stilling going strong.

Inward opens up with “How Does It Feel” with brooding sounds on the acoustic guitar.  The track is tinged with sadness filled with the melodious cadences of keys as the backbeat of drums joins in.  This great classic rock approach is extremely melodious, following through with some great pop sensibilities.  The song has a happening jazzy flair, paved with a catchy tune and a soaring guitar solo mid-track.  This melodious tune will set listeners in motion.

“The Love In Your Eyes” starts off with an entrancing melody.  This great pop tune is upbeat with vocals drenched in reverb.  Cascading electric guitar rhythms also pave this song as a steady drumming beat gradually surfaces.  An invigorating melody will caress listeners, as a memorable electric guitar solo electrifies with a startling sound.  The track reminisces about the love in his ex’s eyes after their last good-bye.  Soaked in regret about their departure, the song somberly chronicles their last meeting.

“Gone” begins with some bustling rhythms on the acoustic guitar with the electric guitar eventually joining in.  There is definitely some deft finger-work on the guitar inter-playing on this track.  A warm cadence can be heard treading in the deep and engrossing vibe.

“Autumn Blues” is an instrument-based interlude to the album, pieced together by some soaring and epic guitar riffs that fill the majority of the song.  With a huge bluesy appeal filled with a smoldering, smoky feel, the melodious finger-picking on the electric guitar fulfills a gritty vibe.

“Night Train” starts off with some enticing numerating over the guitar strings.  This is a slower striding track paved with some melodious keys.  A warbling electric sound is fully elicited from the electronic nodes as the keys give off a groovy, jazzy cadence.  An epic guitar solo sounds off mid-way into the song.  With a great classic rock sound, this soulful track is filled with a soothing cadence and placating quality.

“Let Go” sounds off with some reverb-filled electric guitars that go on to create an atmospheric vibe.  The song is filled with melodious layers from the electric guitar, drums, and bass.  Containing a dreamy vibe, the upbeat soul-warming cadence coming from the track elicits a catchy, melodious, and sunny sound.

“It Doesn’t Matter” has a soft rock, Contemporary Radio feel to it.  The great pop song is catchy and upbeat with a retro vibe, harking to am 80’s era, New Wave feel.  A doo-wop-inspired vibe could also be heard in the chorus.  Stirring guitar riffs, a marching drumming backbeat, energized keys and percussions go on to give this track an amped feel.

“9 to 5 (Barely Alive)” begins with a haunting piano melody with electronic nodes to create an altogether somber cadence.  The sound on this song conjures up a Beatles-esque vibe.  The great pop melody is paved with darting interweaving vocals as the singing oscillates in and out of this track.  There’s an engrossing solo on the keys on this song as well as an electric guitar solo later on.  This mesmerizing track is about a man who goes through the haze of routine, tracking denials and a long list of regrets, who is about to turn is life around.  Filled with waves of melancholy, the great soaring sounds on the electric guitar along with the moody undertones on the keys goes on to pave an over-arching engaging feel.

The melody on “Let It Rain” on the keys etch out a moody atmosphere on the song.  With a great retro feel that harkens to an 80’s era feel, the reverb-drenched vocals sound off on a melancholy riff and a somber feel as an epic guitar solo erupts on the track towards the end.

“Going Away” follows through with a robust and bustling sound on the electric guitars that rock off the start of this highly energized song.  A great melding of classic rock and prog rock notes, the catchy song is filled with upbeat nodes and a great rocking cadence.  Listeners will go through the foot-tapping and head-nodding routine with this track.  Bright and sun-soaked, this uplifting song is filled with positive vibes.

Talbot tips the scale with this soul-warming piece of work drenched in waves of melodies guitars filled with soaring pop sensibilities and roaring rocking tunes.

Even though his image is shrouded in shadow, his music is far from hiding in the peripheral.

It will be hard to ignore the polished posterior of these 10-songs, melded together by the tight musicianship from Ghostly Beard.  The anonymous artist plays all the instruments on this album.

While upholding his authenticity as an artist, who holds no qualms for the superficial frills of society today, Ghostly Beard is also heavily involved with supporting other unsigned artists and artists’ rights defense, which is highlighted in his blog.  All proceeds from the sale of Inward will go directly to Canadian charity MusiCounts, which aims to give a musical education to children in need.

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My Nguyen

My Nguyen is an album reviewer from San Diego, CA. She regularly contributes to Her work has appeared in the following journals: Quietpoly, Community Voices, Espresso 1, The Whistling Fire, The Pedestal Magazine, The Straylight Magazine, Baby Lawn Literature, and Conceit Magazine.

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