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All reviews by David Marcus unless otherwise noted.
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Frank C. Edgley (anglo concertina, Scottish and Northumbrian smallpipes) and Frank J. Edgley (fiddle), with Brian Taheney (cittern, octave mandolin, et. al.) and and Leon Taheney (bodhrán).
13 tracks; 40'18".

Sound samples, track list and ordering information.
Additional ordering information: Frank Edgley 519-948-9149 or
A seasoning of Northumbrian tunes combine with Irish and a few Scottish tunes in graceful, light, relaxed instrumental performances that are totally without gimmicks or glitz. I really enjoy the mix of tunes on Bridges (as well as the performances), and that while there are some familiar tunes on the album, none of them are over-played--few appear on more than one other recording in my collection.

The performances are very thoughtfully arranged (there are not any sets that are (for instance), three similar-sounding jigs played in the same style by the same instruments, all playing all the time) and I really like the changes in mood within cuts. For instance, the Scottish tune Cutting Bracken starts as a slow air for fiddle and then changes into a fairly gutsy strathspey; the set finishes with an Irish reel, The Musical Priest. A set that features Scottish smallpipes combines a Scottish march, a strathspey (a really neat version of The Laird of Drumblair) and a Scottish reel. Lovely whistle playing featured in Molly St. George is joined by fiddle as the musicians move into Give Me Your Hand. The fiddle then takes over for the set dance Madame Bonaparte. The album closes with a set that starts with Nathaniel Gow's Lament and ends with three Irish jigs.

From Northumbria, Sir Sydney Smith's March features the concertina and has a lively feel with an accompaniment that propels it along very nicely, and waltzes feature the Northumbrian smallpipes in a sweet and expressive arrangement. The concertina also provides a deft lead on a set of three well-known Irish reels (The Wise Maid, Sporting Paddy, and The Copperplate).

As I said earlier, the variety is impressive. As well as the tunes mentioned it includes a set of lively polkas from Kerry; several jigs and hornpipes, and Carolan's Draught (but in an arrangement that doesn't do anything for me, making it the only cut that I don't like strongly!).

In addition to the variety, I very much admire the pure musicality: nothing is played too heavily or with any over-inflated sense of self-importance or with what sounds like any attempt to impress the listener. The musicians' sound is light and they play very much together; this is another group that gives me the impression that they've played together for ages and do it for fun; they'd just as soon be sitting on the porch as in the studio. These sets are well arranged, however; different instrument come in and out, accompaniments changes.

Rating: A. This is an album I can listen to repeatedly and will come back to enjoy many times.

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