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JONNY HARDIE & GAVIN MARWICK - "The Blue Lamp" - KRL CDLDL1287

Both Jonny and Gavin are well-known and well-respected for the sterling work and energy they bring to their music, Jonny being especially associated with the Old Blind Dogs, and Gavin with The Iron Horse, although both pop up all over the place.

I had high expectations of this CD before I listened to it, and I was right to have had them. From the very first notes of The Quiet Man to the end of The Duck this fairly blisters along, with Jonny on fiddle and Gavin weaving between fiddle, guitar, bouzouki and mandolin, with Leon McCann, Eamon Coyne, Andy Thornburn and Aaron Jones filling the guest chairs to add their button box, banjo, keyboards and bouzouki to the mixture, and with friends like these.

A grand mixture of styles of tunes as well, ranging from traditional Scottish jigs and reels, through Breton bagpipe sets, a Romanian horo and various other points of the compass, to Gavin and Jonny's own composition, the eponymous Blue Light Suite. Not as I thought when I read the name and saw the cover, some sort of tribute to Dixon of Dock Green (remember him?) but a musical interpretation of a night out on the tear, the Blue Lamp in question being Sandy Broon's Aberdonian beer shop of the same name.

An excellent choice of sets, superbly played with skill and interpreted sympathetically, this one keeps finding its way back on my player.

Gordon Potter

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This album was reviewed in Issue 35 of The Living Tradition magazine.