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DAVEY & DYER - Dynamite Quay  

DAVEY & DYER - Dynamite Quay  
Dalla Records DACD08  

A whole album of Cornish dance music is a rare thing indeed, but violist Jen Dyer andbouzouki/fiddle maestro Neil Davey offer just that; each track is designed for a particular Cornish dance, many of which share names with Breton dances, and all the music comes from Cornish musicians. Much of Dynamite Quay was composed quite recently, by Davey himself in some cases, and there are certainly influences from Brittany to the south and Ireland to the north-west, but the style is consistent with old Cornish tunes which presumably had those same influences. Each track is in a single rhythm, of course, to suit the dancers.

The album takes its name from an area of Cornwall which was famous for explosives, particularly “dynamite and other nitro-glycerine based products”, a marketing strapline to die for. The music can be pretty potent too: try the sparky polka An Lano and the older Cornish Girls which is closely related to the English Nutting Girl bawdy song. In gentler mood, The Holy Well is a charming melody new to me, apparently suited to the dance Hanter Jowster, and the mournful Now The Summer Is Over ends this release with grace and beauty. In between are hornpipes and waltzes, jigs and polkas, and a couple of great old reels, one with no name, and the other proclaiming itself Not Too Young To Marry Yet. Some things never change. The viola gets a bit swamped at times, but otherwise Dynamite Quay is a fine recording full of fascinating music. 

Alex Monaghan

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This album was reviewed in Issue 126 of The Living Tradition magazine.