BitterSweet

by Bob and Gill Berry

The Collins Dictionary describes Bittersweet as pleasant but tinged with sadness and many of the songs in this album fit this description. Enduring love coming to an end through wars, appalling working conditions for women, or even just the natural end of our days are all to be found.

In this, our somewhat eclectic collection of songs, we hope to convey the range of music that we love and wish to share. Without the wonderful diversity of songwriters and collectors of folksongs to be found in all corners of this great country and beyond we would be much the poorer.



Gill Berry vocals

Bob Berry vocals, guitars, bouzouki, percussion

Anahata cello

Pete Harris bass guitar

Keith Kendrick concertinas

Paul Sartin fiddle, oboe

Jo Veal clarinet

1 Englands Glory 
J Prosser 

In June 1888, Clementina Black gave a speech on Female labour at a Fabian Society meeting in London. Annie Besant, a member of the audience, was so horrified about the pay and appalling conditions that women endured at the Bryant & May Match Factory, that the next day she wrote an article in her newspaper “The Link” entitled “White Slavery in London”. This caused the Company to react by forcing their workers to sign a statement saying they were happy with their working conditions. When a group of women refused to sign they were sacked which resulted in the immediate strike of 1400 women in July of that year. This is a story of hope; and shows the power of publicity even in a small, obscure publication. John Prosser of the “String Fellows” wrote this great song, which ranks one of our all time favourites. 

2 I Wandered by a Brook side 
Milne/BarbaraBerry 

This song just had to go on the album. The tune was written by Barbara Berry, Bobs mother, and set to the simple words in the poem written by Baron Richard Monckton Milnes in the 1800s. No bitterness here – just sweet! 

3 Suffer Little Children 
Flannery/Foulkes 

In 1905 a charity was set up by one Clara Grant at the Fern Settlement, in East London, to bring a small annual bit of sunshine to poverty stricken children. An archway was set up and any child that could pass under, without stooping or touching the arch, qualified for a small bundle of toys and things in exchange for the smallest coin of the realm. The song was written by Mary Foulkes and set to music by Paul Flannery in the 1980s as members of the celebrated group folk group Heritage. The Clara Grant Primary Schools are still in existence, not far from Tower Hamlets in London and have recently celebrated their centenary year. 

4 Winter Man 
Chris Leslie 

This is a powerful song about Jack Frost from the writing of Chris Leslie of Fairport Convention. Bob first heard this when Chris and his brother, John, played in the Banbury and Oxford Folk clubs in the late 70s and the song has stuck since. Guaranteed to make you snuggle up under your blankets on a dark and cold winters night. 

5 Revels day 
J Pullen 

At the end of May in the sleepy village of Box in Wiltshire the whole place comes alive for the annual “Box Revels”. About ten or more years ago they inspired local songwriter to put into song what he imagined they would have been like in days of old, where the whole village stopped its daily routine to come together on one day in the year and have some fun. These are great words that convey the atmosphere well. Thanks John for a great song. 

6 Brown Girl (Trad) 
Trad 

An awesome song with undertones of revenge with the scorned lover finally dancing on his grave. Gill got this song from the singing of the great ballad singer Frankie Armstrong. Interestingly when Frankie heard Gill sing it several years later she was pleased to note that Gill had extra verses in her version. Gill doesnt know where they came from! A fine example of “the folk process” at work. 


7 May Dew 
Trad 

This song has a simplicity and joy about it that we could not resist singing it. We have sung this song since we met in 1984 and never tire of the lovely sentiment of going out early on a May morning and washing your face in the early morning dew to ensure enduring beauty. Beats a trip to the chemist any day! We first heard from the singing of Derek & Dorothy Elliott in the 80s and it was published in Frank Kidsons “English Peasant Songs” 

8 Gay Green Gown 
Trad 

This is a truly superb song collected from one Isiah Sully, over a period of 16 years 1904-20, by Ruth Tongue and published in her lovely little book called “The Chime Child” in 1967. We first heard the song on a Graham & Eileen Pratt album. Graham & Eileen were an inspiration to us in our first years of singing together and we owe them a debt of gratitude not only for this song but many others too. 

9 Tom Goes to Hilo 
Trad 

We dont do many shanties or sea songs as our adopted county of Wiltshire doesnt have much in the way of a coastline! However this one has been in Gills repertoire ever since she started singing and we love the way the harmonies work. Its a darned fine song and a good prelude to the following couple of songs. 

10 Fisher Lad of Whitby 
Barbara Berry 

This is the first tune that Bobs mum wrote many years ago after being given the words by someone from Doncaster Library. Another - sailor off out to sea whilst his lover waits forlornly on the shore - this song has a deep anguish within it that sends a shiver down your spine. You almost feel like you are stood on the foggy shoreline yourself. 

11 Dockyard Wall 
Shep Woolley 

Shep Woolley is known throughout the country and beyond as a singer of comedic songs and as a great entertainer of adults and children alike. As with many entertainers of his skills he also is able to turn his hand to more serious songs. This one is a real cracker and tells of the longing for a sailor, lost but never forgotten. 

12 Fair Flora 
Trad 

Its every folk singers wish, and pleasure, to sing something originally sung by one their parents and this is no exception. It is a sad song but one that Bobs father, Len, sang with real power and conviction We just love the tune too as it fits the words like a glove. This comes from the Alfred Williams Collection indexed as Oxfordshire. The tune is from Lucy Broadwoods English County Songs, collected from Mr Grantham, carter, Surrey. 

13 Calum More 
Andy Mitchel 

Suffering within an ordinary existence seems to be the theme here with a woman having to live with the evils of a drinking man. In the beginning it is only a few on the Friday night but then it all too often turns into something else. The final straw comes when the children begin to suffer. If there were ever a song written in support of Temperance this would be an excellent example. 

14 Song of Time 
A Bell 

A song originally written by Alan Bell in honour of Bobs mum & dad, Len & Barbara. A lovely set of words but a somewhat unusual tune Its pure Kletzmer! So we followed the natural flow of Alans tune and came up with a somewhat reflective song that somehow feels like it was written for us too. 
Englands Glory
In June 1888
I Wandered by a Brook side
This song just had to go on the album. The tune was written by Barbara Berry
Sample not available
Suffer Little Children
In 1905 a charity was set up by one Clara Grant at the Fern Settlement
Sample not available
Winter Man
This is a powerful song about Jack Frost from the writing of Chris Leslie of Fairport Convention. Bob first heard this when Chris and his brother
Sample not available
Revels day
At the end of May in the sleepy village of Box in Wiltshire the whole place comes alive for the annual “Box Revels”. About ten or more years ago they inspired local songwriter to put into song what he imagined they would have been like in days of old
Sample not available
Brown Girl (Trad)
An awesome song with undertones of revenge with the scorned lover finally dancing on his grave. Gill got this song from the singing of the great ballad singer Frankie Armstrong. Interestingly when Frankie heard Gill sing it several years later she was pleased to note that Gill had extra verses in her version. Gill doesnt know where they came from! A fine example of “the folk process” at work. <br>
Sample not available
May Dew
This song has a simplicity and joy about it that we could not resist singing it. We have sung this song since we met in 1984 and never tire of the lovely sentiment of going out early on a May morning and washing your face in the early morning dew to ensure enduring beauty. Beats a trip to the chemist any day! We first heard from the singing of Derek & Dorothy Elliott in the 80s and it was published in Frank Kidsons “English Peasant Songs”
Sample not available
Gay Green Gown
This is a truly superb song collected from one Isiah Sully
Sample not available
Tom Goes to Hilo
We dont do many shanties or sea songs as our adopted county of Wiltshire doesnt have much in the way of a coastline! However this one has been in Gills repertoire ever since she started singing and we love the way the harmonies work. Its a darned fine song and a good prelude to the following couple of songs.
Sample not available
Fisher Lad of Whitby
This is the first tune that Bobs mum wrote many years ago after being given the words by someone from Doncaster Library. Another - sailor off out to sea whilst his lover waits forlornly on the shore - this song has a deep anguish within it that sends a shiver down your spine. You almost feel like you are stood on the foggy shoreline yourself.
Sample not available
Dockyard Wall
Shep Woolley is known throughout the country and beyond as a singer of comedic songs and as a great entertainer of adults and children alike. As with many entertainers of his skills he also is able to turn his hand to more serious songs. This one is a real cracker and tells of the longing for a sailor
Fair Flora
Its every folk singers wish
Sample not available
Calum More
Suffering within an ordinary existence seems to be the theme here with a woman having to live with the evils of a drinking man. In the beginning it is only a few on the Friday night but then it all too often turns into something else. The final straw comes when the children begin to suffer. If there were ever a song written in support of Temperance this would be an excellent example.
Sample not available
Song of Time
A song originally written by Alan Bell in honour of Bobs mum & dad
Sample not available

Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews

Dai Woosnam

Bob and Gill are stalwarts of the UK folk scene. For some years now, they have been the driving force behind the Chippenham Folk Festival, and Bob is the son of the much-loved Len & Barbara Berry, better known as the Portway Pedlars. And here they have come up with a pleasing album with content that lives up to its title. Sweet songs like May Dew that I havent heard since Derek & Dorothy Elliott, and the very antithesis of that song, the dark and compelling Gay Green Gown from the singing of Graham & Eileen Pratt.

They are surrounded by the usual crack team of WildGoose instrumentalists.  

All are on top form, with non-regular member of this backing club, Jo Veal from Hekety, standing out even in this august company! Pity we could not have heard even more of her inspired clarinet playing. When it comes to the total 49 minutes, were there any false moves? No, not really. However on reflection, they may consider that the sea shanty (track 9) might have been best left to others. It never quite happens.

But I want to look at the plusses.  And to comment on three tracks.   First, Shep Wooleys Dockyard Wall.

Now, this song is a bit of a phenomenon. It is fast becoming the Yesterday of the folk canon! Is there a LIMIT to the number of people who record it, I wonder?   That dockyard wall now has more young women waiting there than ever waited on the Reeperbahn on a Saturday night!

Im sure Shep is delighted. The more the merrier. Thats HIS pension looked after.

And so what am I complaining about? Dont they do a decent job on it?  

Yes they do. The best version I have heard since Tom Lewiss, in fact.  (Dont let my jaded mutterings mislead you. It is just that I am dockyard-walled-out, pro tem!)

And the other two songs? Well, these are the standout cuts.

First, I Wandered By A Brook Side. Yes, I know, this is a song that has been recorded by several performers too. But, I had forgotten (if I ever learned in the first place!) that the truly GLORIOUS melody was written by Bobs mother Barbara. And how well the tune fits the simple (but telling) words of the poem by Baron Richard Monckton Milnes.

And then the other zenith mark: Gills impassioned delivery of that truly searing song about the wife-beater Calum Moore. I havent heard this song since Vin Garbutt recorded it on his Little Innocents album. Here it gains even greater power being sung by a woman (though in theory, it shouldnt). Plus maybe this power is added to by Anahatas brooding cello (always giving testament to what happened the night before).

And the 14 songs are accompanied by that hallmark of a WildGoose album: the very classily-presented liner notes. Here, they do not fail me. Wonderfully legible, as ever.

And whereas, many other folk labels have spelling errors in their liner notes as almost de rigueur, not so with WildGoose. Clear effort is made with the proof-reading. However, I did spot one tiny one. Gay Green Gown was collected from IsAiah Sully, and not Isiah.

A minor point. Dont let that detract from a very decent CD.

Shreds & Patches

Nick Howard

Bob and Gill run the Devizes folk club and the Chippenham folk festival. Gill takes the vocal lead on eleven of the songs with Bob adding harmony on some and providing three songs in his own right. Gills voice is strong and quite vibrant, reminding me of the singing at the pub piano in old wartime films. Shep Woolleys song Dockyard Wall is a dead ringer for this style and Gill carries it off well. Its a more classical, choral approach to singing with emphasis on the notes rather than on the words and phrasing of the story. I listened to this album next to some Fred Jordan and found the difference in approach quite striking.

Its all a matter of taste of course. Theres a wide mix of songs, leading off with Englands Glory about the trials of women workers in a Victorian match factory. Followed in contrast by I Wandered 13y a Brook, a nineteenth century love poem set to music by Bobs mother. She also wrote another track, The Fisher Lad of Whitby on which Gill sings in a much more relaxed and lyrical way. On the traditional side we have The Gay Green Gown, The May Dew, heavy harmony on Johnny Goes to Hilo and the marvellous ballad Brown Girl sung with anger. Revels Day I have to say I found annoyingly repetitive and tuneless. Calum More an excellent song charting the all-too-common problem of drink and marital violence. Bob chips in with Winter Man accompanied by very atmospheric percussion, a rather stilted Fair Flora and finishes the album with lovely relaxed rendition of Song of Time, an Alan Bell song.

Bob provides most of the backing on guitar and bouzouki with a few extras provided by some very competent musicians. No one seems to own up to playing the synth which provides a wavering drone on The Fisher Lad of Whitby For the most the backing is just that - in background - but theres nice, simple, haunting playing of the tune on Song of Time at the end of the album.

Taplas

Roy Harris

The Berry's are at the hub of so much folk activity in Wiltshire it's a wonder they found time to make this album. Luckily, they did, and they give us a feast of song, performed with confidence and commitment, an obvious labour of love.

They open with John Prosser's stirring 'England's Glory', the story of a group of female workers fighting for their rights at the back end of the 19th century. It gets a suitable workout from Gill Berry's strong, warm, voice. .  Bob's voice shares the same qualities, in Chris Leslie's ritualistic sounding 'Winter Man'.  There are a fair number of recently written songs on the album as well as things from tradition, showing that the Berry's have ears for a song that is good regardless of provenance.  A pleasing album from two singers who are part of the backbone of our folk revival.

Folk NorthWest

Derek Gifford

Bob and Gill Berry are probably best known as the principal organisers of Chippenham Folk Festival but, as with many organisers in the folk world, they are also performers in their own right. This CD took two years to complete indicating the time commitment of festival organisers!

Gill has an attractive resonant voice and with Bobs sensitive harmonies and accompaniments basically very little else is  necessary for a rounded and empathic sound. However, on some tracks, other fine musicians are used anyway including Pete Harris on bass guitar, me old partner in crime Keith Kendrick on concertinas who accompanies

John Prossers Englands Glory (yes, it is about matches!) and Shep Woolleys Down by the Dockyard Wall, Paul Sartin of the Wild Goose Mafia on fiddle and oboe (but not at the same time!), Jo Veal adding a Kletzmer feel with her clarinet to Alan Bells Song of Time and Anahata who plays haunting cello on Chris Leslies Winter Man and Fisher Lad of Whitby. This latter was composed by mum Barbara Berry and, as might be expected, included in this album also is her better known I Wondered By A Brookside.

Not to be outdone Bob sings  Fair Flora a traditional song learned from his dad Len.

Although I find this CD a fine production overall I do have one or two gripes. With singers like Keith Kendrick and Pete Harris on hand I would have thought they might use them to fill out more choruses - especially the unaccompanied Tom Goes to Hilo. Also the way Gill tackles Andy Mitchells superb Calum More doesnt do it for me and yet the missing angst comes through so well on the traditional classic Brown Girl.

The production is, of course, well up to the Wild Goose high standard with a very attractive cover and elaborate notes on the 14 songs contained therein. Not a CD to set the world on fire (which Im sure wouldnt be Bob and Gills intention anyway) but a very enjoyable listen.

Folk Mag

Dick Nickolls

Bob and Gill's new CD contains 14 songs, five of which are traditional. They

reflect the descriptive title, ranging from joyful songs of rural May revels

to bitter songs of industrial strife and child poverty in late nineteenth

century London. Though even the bitterest are tinged with hope. The

collection also includes classic ballads and even a sea shanty.

All are sung beautifully and with great sensitivity. Instrumental backing is

provided by Bob and also by Anahata, Pete Harris, Keith Kendrick, Paul

Sartin and Jo Veal, all of whom are top performers in their own right.

All together, a wide ranging, thought provoking and enjoyable CD.

Netrythms

David Kidman

BitterSweet is the first CD to be recorded by Bob and Gill, even though theirs is a singing partnership of long standing. For nearly half of that 20-year timespan, theyve also been the principal organisers of Chippenham Folk Festival, and both play key roles in Devizes Folk Club (which they themselves started in 1992) and within the eight-piece group Tinkers Bag.

Their close harmony singing displays an evident strong and sensitive musical bond, with each truly supportive of the others voice yet also completely naturally allowing the other to shine (or dominate) where necessary for the expression of the song, the effective communication in performance of which is paramount (as it should be). Bob and Gill present an interesting choice of songs from both within and outwith the tradition, yet unsurprisingly the latter almost always have a strong feel of the traditional.

Although both Bob and Gill are highly competent singers in their own right with attractive voices, you may well respond first to the material rather than the singing or performance aspect, for initially the actual delivery of the songs isnt what you notice, simply because it isnt to any significant degree specifically attention-drawing. Except possibly, that is, in the matter of Gills use of vibrato (more evident on some songs than others, it must be said), which although an integral part of her technique can at times make her tone seem just a little fierce (bitter, perhaps) and thus some listeners may find it takes some getting used to. But again, first impressions can lead your ears down false trails, and in truth I ended up liking almost all of this CD a lot  and more than I expected to after the initial playthrough.

Not least because it introduced me to some absolutely superb songs that Id not come across before (always a good test!): Suffer Little Children is a curiously effective (and economic) song from the pens of two members of the group Heritage, while John Pullens Revels Day really does convey the lively atmosphere of the Box (Wiltshire) village custom. Opening the CD, theres a fine driving rendition of John Prossers stirring anthem Englands Glory that proves more than a match (sorry!) for any rival version in my book (!), which contrasts with the broody Calum More (by Andy Mitchel), another fine composition on the time-honoured theme of a womans extraordinary suffering within an ordinary existence. I also really liked Bobs atmospheric take on Chris Leslies powerful Winter Man. Amongst the traditional fare, Gills solo tour-de-force is the awesome ballad Brown Girl, while Bob turns in a notably well-poised rendition of Fair Flora; while jointly their May Dew is a joyous pleasure to discover, as are Gay Green Gown (which it turns out Bob and Gill got from the singing of our own Graham & Eileen Pratt), and the duos creative harmonising on Toms Gone To Hilo. Finally, Bobs mother Barbara is remembered in performances of two of her songs, the beautiful, if anguished Fisher Lad Of Whitby and her lovely, sweet setting of I Wandered By A Brook-side, while the CD closes with the reflective, definitively bittersweet Alan Bell Song Of Time, a chanson-like creation written in honour of both of Bobs parents and here blessed with an aptly plangent klezmer-like arrangement.

Which leads me to my final observation: that Bob and Gill have taken on board a small coterie of musical collaborators who really complement their own performances (this seems to be a hallmark of all WildGoose recordings, where the labels boss and producer Doug Bailey seems to have the knack of showing the featured artistes off to their best advantage). In this case, its the stalwarts Keith Kendrick (concertinas), Pete Harris (bass guitar), Anahata (cello), Paul Sartin (fiddle, oboe) and Jo Veal (clarinet) who do the honours. A very attractive CD, attractively packaged.

RocknRel

Sean McGhee



Bob and Gill Berry are perhaps best known as stalwarts of the Wiltshire folk scene, and as the organisers of the Chippenham Folk Festival. Bittersweet, the debut album from the duo, because of time constraints was some two years in the making. It's been a worthwhile wait, as the duo have produced a robust and consistently strong collection, made all the more effective by Gill's versatile and distinctive voice and by the shrewd choice of material, especially the opener 'England's Glory', a poignant tale of the Bryant and May matchgirl strike (from the pen of John Prosser), the boisterous 'Revels Day' and the bittersweet recollection of 'Dockyard Wall'.

The Living Tradition

Phil Thomas

With all the many projects they have 'on the go' it is very pleasing to find that Bob and Gill Berry have finally found the time to bring out this new collection of songs with the help of Doug Bailey at Wild Goose. Bob and Gill have been singing together since the early eighties. They have been running the highly successful Devizes Folk club since 1992, and most of us will know them as part of the team that drives the Chippenham Festival. Gill has a clear, distinctive voice and it is shown to good effect when supported by Bob's fine vocals and sensitive guitar accompaniment. Not that Bob can't hold his own in the vocal department. He takes the lead on Chris Leslie's Winter Man and does a fine job with it.

This collection is a mix of traditional songs and a few new ones (Shep Wooley's Dockyard Wall is a good example ﷓ a lovely treatment of an old favourite). There's a nice family feel to this album, too, with several of the songs dedicated to, inspired by or written by Bob and Gill's parents (listen to Alan Bell's A Song of Time ...delightful!).

They've enlisted the help of friends like Keith Kendrick and Paul Sartin to add a little colour and texture but it's the singing that shines through, without a doubt. I understand they are currently working on a project devoted to the songs of Wiltshire and I'm sure it will be worth waiting for.

Bob and Gill have been missing from my CD player for quite a while and it's good to have them back.

Whats Afoot

Colin Andrews

Many long-serving folkies will remember Bob's parents, Len & Barbara Berry, as stalwarts of the folk scene, but to describe Bob & Gill thus would seem inadequate to describe considerable contribution to folk music in southern England. From the Devizes Folk Club, which they started in 1992, the Wiltshire Folk Arts organisation, and  most prominently, as organisers of the Chippenham Folk Festival, one of the biggest traditional events in the country, they have been tireless workers, but a role which has regrettably restricted their opportunity to perform.

They are both strong and accomplished singers and this album ably demonstrates their talent and versatility. There are 5 traditonal songs, not particularly well?known apart from Tom's Gone To Hilo, but it's the variety and quality of the 'contemporary' material that really sets this CD apart. I particularly like the gentler Dockyard Wall by Shep Woolley and Alan Bell's Song of Time, but the Winter Man by Chris Leslie is powerful stuff, and Andy Mitchel paints a tragic but all-too-familiar picture of the evils of drink in his song, Calum More.

Some songs are solo performances, others in pleasing two-part harmony, and on many tracks there is sympathetic accompaniment variously by Bob (guitar or bouzouki), Anahata (cello), Keith Kendrick (concertinas), Paul Sartin (fiddle, oboe), Jo Veal (clarinet) and Pete Harris (bass guitar). Let us hope that the album encourages Bob & Gill to return to more live performances.

Mardles

Mike Everett

Bob and Gill Berry are the organisers of the Chippenham Folk Festival, so they are very busy people and this recording took a couple of years to complete, trying to fit it in with their other commitments. And yet again, Doug Bailey at Wild Goose Records has produced the goods.

Gill provides lead vocals on most tracks with Bob supporting vocally and instrumentally on guitar or bouzouki. They have an impressive list of guest musicians with Anahata on cello, Pete Harris on bass guitar, Keith Kendrick on concertinas, Paul Sartin on fiddle and oboe, and Jo Veal from Hekety on clarinet.

There is a diverse mix of songs with traditional material sitting comfortably alongside contemporary songs. John Prossers Englands Glory, Shep Woolleys Dockyard Wall, Chris Leslies Winter Man, John Pullens Revels Day and Song of Time by Alan Bell are some of the best modern folk songs youll hear. From the tradition, theres a jolly rendition of May Dew and even a shanty, Tom Goes To Hilo that leads on to one of the best tracks on the CD, Fisher Lad of Whitby, with a tune by Barbara Berry, Bobs mother, for words from someone at Doncaster Library.

As with all Wild Goose recordings, their website has artist information and all the track notes at www.WildGoose.co.uk, where you can also buy the albums.

Around Kent Folk

Kathy & Bob Drage

Heavily involved in the Wiltshire folk scene, they run Devizes folk club and organise 'Chippenham Festival. Gill has the most divine voice supported by Bob' sensitive harmonies & arrangements. He is also a fine singer & draws on influences from his parents Len & Barbara and the many traditional singers listened to since childhood. Collins dictionary describes bittersweet as 'pleasant but tinged with sadness' and many of the songs fit this description. From 'England's Glory', 'May Dew', 'Brown Girl', 'Suffer Little Children', 'Gay Green Gown', and 'Fair Flora' to the evils of drinking 'Calum Moore' and Chris Leslie's Winter Man', finishing with Alan Bell's 'song of Time' - pure Kletzmer with Jo Veal on clarinet.

Two years in the making - worth the wait.

EDS

Ray Langton

Bob and Gill Berry first met in 1983, and since that time have been deeply involved in singing and running folk clubs, as well as organising Chippenham Folk Festival. Singing for them has, to some extent, had to take a back seat, and this CD is an opportunity to hear the pair of them back 'in performance mode'. There are fourteen tracks here with a mix of accompanied and unaccompanied songs all sung with feeling, and with accompaniments that support the songs without being intrusive.

There are several songs here that stand out: for example the CD opens with 'England's Glory', a powerful song by John Prosser describing the plight of women working in the Bryant and May Match Factory. 'May Day' is a well-performed traditional song which is followed by 'Gay Green Gown', another superb traditional song, while 'Dockyard Wall', written by Shep Wooley, has a music hall feel to it. The CD finishes with 'A Song of Time' written by Alan Bell, which has a flowing klezmer flavour.

This CD represents Bob and Gill doing what they love and are good at interpreting good songs with feeling, and showing a real respect for their material, wherever it comes from. Perhaps Bob and Gill will be able to find more time to get out and about singing, but if not, this CD gives you the opportunity to appreciate their singing in your own home.

Shire Folk

Tonv ONeill

Bob and Gill Berry are the cornerstone of folk music in Wiltshire and I'm astonished that with all their 'doings', Chippenham Folk Festival, Devizes Folk Club, various groups etc etc, they have time to perform, let alone record a CD! Nevertheless, time or not, this is another excellent production from Doug. Bailey of Wild Goose Studios and one well worth a listen. 'Bittersweet' is the name and bittersweet is the feel of the CD with Gills deep and melodic voice singing most of the leads, with Bob adding the harmonies, although Bob does get 3 or 4 solo tracks. The 14 songs and ballads are mix of Traditional  and Contemporary written in traditional style and are performed with the passion and feeling that I have come to expect from this couple and backed by a superb collection of musicians with excellent but sensitive arrangements. Track 1, 'England's Glory' was one that particularly struck me. The overall presentation of the CD is good and in keeping with the musical content. I particularly like the song notes, giving in depth backgrounds to the material and an idea of the knowledge of folk song retained by this pair. To obtain a copy or contact Bob and Gill the telephone number is 01380 726597, www.bobandgillberry.co.uk The Wild Goose website is at www.wildgoose.co.uk