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Na-Mara - The Bite

Na-Mara - The Bite
Rightback Records RBRP010

Na-Mara are a Hertfordshire duo who specialise in Celtic music in the true sense of the word: Irish, Breton, French, Spanish; all accompanied by guitar, mandolin, mandola etc, which creates an Anglo-Spanish style and feel.  In short, everything that could be so wrong, but here is perfectly pitched and comes out so right.

There are three songs written by singer Paul McNamara, which fit well with the other traditional material.  One is about Edinburgh's “Resurrection Men”, though in this case the murder is committed by women; another on the Spanish Civil War; and the third on a little-known story of evacuee children from that war, sent to the UK.

The traditional tracks are not ordinary.  Even some of the best known, like Stivell's old favourite Tri Martolod, appears in an English translation, and there is a lovely pair of tunes worth mentioning from Asturias.  There's a French murder ballad, once addressed by Malicorne, also translated into English, which appears alongside a Nic Jones classic, Billy Don't You Weep For Me.

The accompaniment is aided by a spot of tasteful fiddle from Chris Leslie.  Here we have 11 tracks, with around an hour's worth of music.  It’s almost impossible to categorise musically, other than with a generic “Good stuff!” 

Bob Harragan
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This album was reviewed in Issue 89 of The Living Tradition magazine.