Ginger Ackley: Open Harp

Ginger Ackley, “It Is Time”

Ginger Ackley, “Bird That Has Flown”

I’m not going to lie, Ginger Ackley had me at “Celtic Folk.”  She then cited Judy Collins as one of her influences and I felt my heart palpitate because of perfection.  Finding her footing at Renaissance fairs and festivals, the former Texan makes music with a twist – it’s a traditional trademark and also contemporarily cultivated.  Her songs have seen success and Ginger has secured some songwriting awards.

It is Time,” the title track of her 2010 CD, won a song writing contest judged by really revered Celtic musicians Danny O’Flaherty, Aoife Clancy and Andy M. Stewart.  The subject matter assigned for the song was “leaving one place and going to another, but in a happy way.”  Ginger puts it in perspective, singing “Now the song and the story lie deep in my heart/Of the land and the history which I am a part/So the circle goes round, now the journey is mine/For it’s time to go home, it is time, it is time.”  Capturing that contest led to a collaboration  with Danny on his “Secret Garden” CD in which Ginger wrote not only the title track, but her songwriting was showcased on two other songs.  “Secret Garden” procured Ginger a third place finish in the  Just Plain Folks Awards in Nashville.

According to Andy, of the Scottish band Silly Wizard, Ginger writes songs “in the old way.” Proving that point, Ginger has a cd  that is a cornerstone collection of 15 traditional songs.  Her cd “It is Time” is an outpouring of originals,  sprinkled with two traditional songs. In “Bird That Has Flown” she sings, “Well a lassie is just like a flower, pretty rose she will bloom in the sun/And a laddie is just like a honey bee, stealing kisses and having his fun/Shed a tear for the bird that has flown, breathe a sigh for the blossom that’s gone/Sing a song for the lad with the twinkling eye, say a prayer that the heart finds a home.”

In “How Is It,” Ginger tells the tale of how one can wondrously wear their heart on their sleeve and yet the object of their obsession is oblivious: “Day and night I stayed with you, I gave you songs to sing/I cherished every moment that kept me beneath your wing/Oh, how is it you did not know from the very start/Oh, how is it you did not know that you had taken my heart?”   Also an Earth enthusiast and educator, Ginger  illustrated and brought music to her children’s book “All Earth’s Children.”  In the book she shares stories and sings about good stewardship, as supported by her song “Gaia’s Lament.”    Inspired by her personal friend and professional partner Danny, who lost his home and work in the Hurricane Katrina catastrophe, Ginger took on a new mission with her music.

Ginger has planted her song seed with Bardic roots and her lovely lyrics have sprouted into a great garden that we get to enjoy. Her songs showcase it all – heart, history, and harp, passion and past preservation.    Aside from most of the south, Ginger’s music has taken her to the Caribbean, Alaska and also Ireland.  This Friday it will be bringing her to The Unitarian Universalist Spirit of Life Coffeehouse in Bellaire, Ohio in which open mic is from 7 – 8 and the Ginger will sing her songs with an open harp and leave us with a “Lark’s Farewell!”

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