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Lawrence Heath of Folk Roots (fRoots)

reviews The South Wind by The Bursledon Village Band

The Director of a folk festival somewhere on the south Devon coast once described the BVB to me as the best kept secret on the English folk dance scene.  Alas!  With the release of The South Wind the secret is a secret no more.  Issued to coincide with their twentieth birthday celebrations this album is much more than a souvenir of two glorious decades of dancing - it is quintessentially all that is wonderful about English traditional social dance music; vibrant, contagiously danceable and tuneful.  And what tunes.  Several deserved favourites are here; The Primrose Polka, The Unfortunate Tailor and the stately title track.  But the album is choc-a-bloc with numerous melodies possibly unknown to those of you not in on the secret, some written by the band themselves, some from research into tune-books and manuscripts and others simply down to their knack of knowing a good tune when they hear one at a festival workshop or session.

Although the tunes have their origins from all over the British Isles the BVBs style bears the distinctive stamp of Southern England in general and Bursledon in particular - largely due to the influence of such seminal traditional musicians as Scan Tester upon Dave lngledews melodeon playing.  And, while were singling out individuals, Joyce lngledews fiddle is spot on throughout, not least on Pat Shaws beautiful Margarets Waltz.  Yes, even allowing for the hyperbole of liner writers (and reviewers), Hugh Rippons sleevenotes may well have a grain of truth in them - this could become a classic dance band recording.  At last, the secrets out.