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James Kerry

5th November 2023, 7.30pm

SOURCE is a set of traditional and self composed tunes by melodeon player James Kerry, accompanied by Mawkin's James Delarre on fiddle, viola and mandolin, Tom Kitching fiddle and mandolin, Danny Tonks on acoustic guitar.

This first solo album sees Kerry using Lockdown time to reflect on his love of nature and the countryside. SOURCE describes a connection to the pastoral and a desire to pass on the traditional music James loves.

"Brighton Camp" is a slow building romp with beautiful fiddle, percussive guitar and melodeon in an interesting arrangement. "Goat Of Dunsdale" and the "Golden Slippers" set have a great visceral melodeon pulse, over which the fiddles and guitar fly. This is music that flows through you in a physical way. The guitar mandolin, melodeon and fiddle tune "Staffordshire Hornpipe" is similarly affecting as the comparatively slow tempo compels your feet to move. The longer, almost hypnotic "The New Land" is another strong tune, setting two fiddles, one jaunty, one more mournful alongside the melodeon to create depth and interest.

"Trip To The Kitchen" opens with a pared back duet that shows what an expressive instrument the melodeon can be. "Lili's" has a touch of American folk and great fiddle and guitar parts. "Blue Eyes Stranger" is a traditional tune with such an evocative and sensitive guitar part from Danny you can almost hear words. The tune builds as the musicians join, but there is always a beautifully reflective quality and lightness of touch. That lightness carries through into "Portobello Hornpipe" which manages to be delicate dance music.

"Verticulos" is another gripping tune playing with understated passion, the four musicians summon a quiet fire of intensity.

Simply lovely sensitive instrumental folk music a treat for the feet and the ears. Melodeon, Fiddle, Guitar and Mandolin music with depth.

Marc Higgins, FATEA

Image representing James Kerry from Rosslyn Court