Eric Heath is a Shropshire-based multi-instrumentalist. Born in Athens, Georgia, he was brought up in London and moved to Shropshire at the age of 6.
Snailbeach Mines Trust is the first of several albums released by Wayside and Woodland. Their website tells us:
The Snailbeach Lead Mine, in its heyday, was the largest lead mine in England. Though mining took place from Roman times right up until about 1950, the 1800s saw a massive expansion in mining in the area.
Using guitar, organ, keyboard, field recordings, martenot, piano and voice as the starting point for each of these pieces, Eric then spent time shaping these ideas and fragments to reflect his emotions of returning to somewhere very much engrained in his own childhood.
As a result, the pieces display a great deal of emotional depth, ambient beauty and warmth, evocative one minute of the bucolic songs of Nick Drake and Virginia Astley, then effortlessly shifting towards the more reverb drenched layers and textures of Stars of the Lid and Brian Eno.There are tracks inspired by various parts of the old mine complex at Snailbeach, such as Upper Works Reservoir and Lordshill Engine Shaft.
This one remembers the narrow gauge railway that took the ore to Pontesbury.