Bryony and her fiddle give the tunes she has chosen for this album beautiful expression. This is sometimes light and quick like on The Recovery & The Red House, learnt from ‘ the much missed and bounciest fiddler player and caller Mick Brooks'; sometimes a morris tune played as a slowed down waltz, still beautiful but a bit heavier in tone, such as Oranges in Bloom & The Castle Minuet.
Its subtitle, Traditional tunes for an English fiddle player, is appropriate – these 12 carefully selected and arranged tunes not only suit Bryony’s own style of playing, but are executed with an eloquence that a competent fiddle player could learn and play along with.
The occasional accompaniment of Ian Stephenson on guitar and double bass is subtle, complementing yet never overpowering the delicacy of Bryony’s fiddle playing, as on Radstock & Wednesday Night.
The production is crystal clear – each individual note played can be heard, such as on opening solo track Ladies’ Pleasure & Constant Billy; the punctuated, intricate Queen’s Delight & Bonnets So Blue, and the commanding The New Hornpipe & Hodgson Square.
Mention must also be given to the informative sleeve notes, which give a brief history of where Bryony collected the tunes and their origins.
A lovely listen.
Natalya Catton Wilson