Bright Young Folk – Shelley Rainey

Hover is Bryony Griffith’s second solo album, but this one differs significantly from its predecessor Nightshade in that if features purely traditional fiddle tunes. Around half of the tunes are literally solos, with the rest accompanied by Ian Stephenson on guitar or double bass.

It is a measure of Bryony’s talent as a player that the solo pieces are incredibly song. On the tracks where there is accompaniment, it is never intrusive, providing rather a firm foundation for the fiddle.

The tunes come from a variety of sources – friends, sessions, tune books or digital collections. They come from different dance traditions and different regions of the country. Some will sound familiar to many listeners, while some are rather obscure.

Bryony’s versatility as a player is demonstrated in the fact that she is equally at home playing the elegant and expressive Cotswold tunes like Oranges in Bloom & The Castle Minuet, the rhythmic North West style demonstrated in Radstock & Wednesday Night and the whirling chaos of rapper tunes like The Gaubeo, The Ladds of Dance & Oaks Assembly. Add to that the energy of various hornpipes and the almost Tudor sound of Staines Morris & Lancers no. 2 and you have an album of great variety and contrast.

What could be regarded as a somewhat niche recording for fiddle players and dancers, is in fact full of interest for non-players and non-dancers alike. Bryony Griffith demonstrates not only her skill as a player, but also her ability to appeal to a wider audience.

Shelley Rainey

Bright Young Folk