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Mike Everett of Mardles

reviews BitterSweet by Bob & Gill Berry

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.