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SIMON & PEARSE BRADLEY - Buncrana To Baleshare

SIMON & PEARSE BRADLEY - Buncrana To Baleshare
Sheem Music ISBN: 9780957071605

All the tunes here are inspired by the many sessions and ceilidhs that Simon has taken part in over the years in Scotland, Ireland, Manchester and Asturias. He has adhered to the structures set out by this repertoire but also adding his own melodic ideas. They can all stand up to a solo rendition but slip naturally into ceilidh and session settings. Variations are left to the players own discretion. The important thing is to enjoy playing them.

The notes about the tunes are entertaining e.g. Betty Beardmore’s Reel for his gran who used to dish up hotpot and dumplings every Saturday for visiting family; Peninsula Man from a poem written by his father; Martyn Bennett’s Reel, a man who graced the traditional music scene – this met with his approval and is dedicated to his memory; two tunes written for his sister’s first baby, Molly In The Fiddle Case – Reel and An Uncle At Last – Jig; Anna-Wendy’s Jig for his wife; The Coal Man and The Glass Eyes are song snippets included in Torners 1920 collection of Asturian music - Simon added second part ‘answers’; Mairi Smyth’s Waltz, who smiles and dances at every opportunity. And then the beautiful airs – Lace Bobbin Man, Baleshare, and Pearse At 60 for his dad.

At the end of the book are eight lovely poems by Pearse Bradley. They are very thoughtful and inspiring, especially Roots 66 Buncrana – a ride through life as one ages, and Found Wanting – finding a stone and wondering what it could tell.

The cover of the book is a painting by Pearse called Inishowen Father And Son Set. Again references to poems are reflected in this.

The tunes can be heard on the CD Grogarry Lodge with Simon on fiddle, viola and mandolin, Anna Wendy on fiddle and viola, and Matheu Watson on guitar, mandolin, banjo and fiddle. The back inside cover shows a photo taken during the recording and the front inside cover has a charming photo of father and son on a gorgeous beach.

Good to play the tunes and hear them.

Kathy & Bob Drage


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This album was reviewed in Issue 94 of The Living Tradition magazine.