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Phil Thomas of The Living Tradition

reviews BitterSweet by Bob & Gill Berry

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.