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JIM BAINBRIDGE "The Drunken Billygoat" Furze Tapes FUR002CD

From the start of this recording when Jim says "OK, here we go", you know what this man is about.

Tynesider Jim, accompanied on guitar by Patrick Forrester from Hampshire rattles off a fine selection of tunes and songs, Jim on the 'Rolls Royce' of melodeons, the two row G/D Saltarelle, with Patrick on his beloved Gibson. In what I suspect are 'one- off' takes, this pair bring the atmosphere of the best session you've ever heard and transport it to your front room.

With both being now domiciled in West Cork, the content has a strong Irish tinge, including Percy French gems, "Little Bridgie Flynn" and "West Clare Railway".

Jim pays homage to contemporary writers Colum Sands with "Say Nothing" and "Cliff Richard Song" by Ed Pickford. The title tune "The Drunken Billy goat", by Patrick, is also included. A highly eclectic chooser of material, Jim has that happy knack of taking good songs with good tunes as is exemplified by following "Piper in the Meadow" with Sam Cooke's "Another Saturday Night".

Polkas, jigs, step dances, reels (Irish and Canadian), fiddle tunes, both Scots and Northumbrian are played with verve and skill. As always, the strong singing is a fine compliment to the box.

The accompaniment of Patrick Forrester, understated and subtle is just right. To achieve the combination of informality, project your own character and retain a high level of musical content is by no means easy.

Jim and Patrick have done it - it is a gem.

John Watt

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This album was reviewed in Issue 29 of The Living Tradition magazine.