Ludgate finds the beauty that lies at the intersection of two generations while telling stories that speak directly to the human condition. What The Camera Couldn’t See employs elements of John and Sheila’s roots and folk music as a serene base for the vibrant electronic and rock influences of their three sons Luke, Anthony, and Shane.
(Music Notes Global - May 1, 2019)
What do you get when you combine two parts roots with three parts alternative? A transcendent sound that fills the heart with an indescribable warmth, a sound that only Ludgate could create ...a dialogue between the two music styles, bonding together a wide variety of influences ...needs to be heard to be understood, it needs to be felt, the resonance of the guitars need to vibrate in your chest to fully understand the gravity of the song.
(Samantha Stevens, The Littlest Voice Magazine - April 24, 2019)
John and Sheila Ludgate and family have been putting out quality music for quite a while now. Their folk tunes have been consistently strong through the years, but the addition of the younger family members have added some punch and electric to some songs.”
[Jim Marino chose our latest CD - "What The Camera Couldn't See" as one of his 2018 Top 10 CD picks for Penguin Eggs Magazine]
(Jim Marino, Penguin Eggs Magazine)
"John and Sheila are past winners of the Folk Music Ontario Songs from the Heart Award. Luke, Anthony and Shane Ludgate have been seen on Aux TV and MuchLoud with their band Beautiful Nothing, but when they’re all together, John and Sheila’s folk leanings dominate the sound. The strongest evidence of the younger Ludgates’ indie-rock leanings is found in the tasteful electric guitar solos, which reminded the moose a little of later Pink Floyd – lots of feeling without all the, uh, “wanking.” The slower songs are really the stand-outs here. “Whisper to a Sigh” features piano front and centre with beautiful, sweet violin parts. And then there’s this focus track, “Sad and Beautiful.” Have a listen!"
(Roots Music Canada)
The Ludgates' songs are insightful, and some are quite profound ...with a variety of approaches to their expressive and reflective music, the Ludgates are troubadours with a keen ability to blend introspective thoughts with melodies and instrumentation that complement their messages. These voyagers have a good handle on life, and we'll all find meaningful relationships with their friendly music that invites you into their intimate space. I always enjoy their pleasant grooves, perspectives and energy. Rating - 5 out of 5 stars
(Joe Ross, Roots Music Report and CD Insight)
"The feel is upbeat and positive, even in the album's more wistful and reflective moments, and it's hard not to warm to the Ludgates' easygoing, breezy and companionable brand of folk-rock. There's an honest power to John and Sheila's music-making which is both welcoming and appealing."
(David Kidman, NetRhythms.co.uk)
* "There’s a time-slip feeling to this music – the years fall away as it slides faultlessly from the emotive touch of late sixties folk rock to the sharpness of examining the world from today’s perspective. These songs could sit as mile markers along routes that many of us travel ...John’s soulful lyrics live through his warm vocals ...The depth of personal feeling is evident through the tender recollections."
(Tom Franks, Folk Words)
There are very few times that I hear a new album and be immediately able to “see” those songs playing out in my mind’s eye. Northern Soul happens to do that very thing. This is a great album from top to bottom and one which I will enjoy listening to for years to come. Most of the time, artists get into a rut on an album either stylistically, musically, or lyrically. John and Sheila Ludgate surprise and thrill with very well-written lyrics accompanied by great instrumentation and a constantly changing style.
(Jason Hooker, Reviewer for bluegrassworks.com)
John and Sheila have been at this for a while, and it shows ...very thoughtful lyrics put to a nice mix of acoustic folk and electric folk-rock, all backed by some very creative instrumental work. It’s no surprise “Northern Soul” has already garnered some very favorable attention in Canada and the USA. Put the headphones on, kick back, and take it all in.
(Joe Falletta, Reviewer for Bluegrass Now, Bluegrass Unlimitede, Tricopolis Records) *
Northern Soul, the new CD by Burlington's John and Sheila Ludgate, will take its lucky listeners on a magical journey. Musical travels take you back and forth to the 60s and the era of peace and love. Stops in between celebrate Canada, reveal heartbreaks, and even give you a chuckle. Powerful lyrics guide the listener though the myriad of locations and emotions the songs conjure up. Everything is backed by wonderful musicianship.
(Luis Pereira, Hamilton Blues Lovers, blueshamilton.blogspot.com)
* “Strong material based on roots/folk traditions with some clear Americana …songs are warm and pleasant, lyrical approaches are based on life’s experiences …interesting arrangements. “Running Through The Innocent Years” is recommended, equally for the older and newer folk/roots followers Rating - 8.5/10 (Branimir Lokner, Music Editor & Reviewer)
A Few Live Show Reviews...
"The excellent folk duo of John and Sheila Ludgate opened the outdoor show with some well-crafted original songs on topics such as travel, power struggles and a wedding song. One piece told of the demise of the fishing industry. On another tune the audience was encouraged to get up and dance an old fashioned waltz. The Ludgates closed their portion of the concert with the title song, Northern Soul, from their new CD, a beautiful tribute to Canada and its wonders that you observe travelling from sea to sea. As well as providing a full guitar accompaniment, John also added some well-placed harmonica choruses on some tunes. Sheila displayed some great bass work and vocal harmony.
"The show got started with the Ludgates performing some excellent song material. I was taken with John's marvelous ability to bend the melodic lines on the harmonica helping to capture the mood of the songs. John and Sheila's voices blended so well on all of the material."- Glen Silverthorn, Brantford Expositor
"It's a beautiful summer day on a pier in Burlington, Ontario. Off in the distance you can see Toronto while John & Sheila Ludgate take us on a musical trip where the only luggage is a guitar, harmonica, bass and a story wrapped in a song. What a long, strange trip it's been for these two with all the stops in all the pubs, clubs and coffee houses along the way. The pair played a number of songs. The first was Payback Road, a song about paying your dues and making amends. Colours addressed the ups and downs of long term love and something called Season Of Song came from the sometimes surprising realizations that can arise out of vulnerability. The duo closed with a call for mental disarmament, I'm Not Worried - a naive or brave thought depending on what side of which fence you might be sitting on. They're trying to break out of a brutal New World Order (aren't we all?) as they say in one of their songs - trying to shine a light where it's never been."- AUX New Music