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GARRY BLAKELY "Out of the Shadows" P.D.C.S. CD002

An appropriate title as far as I'm concerned. Before this I'd never heard of PDCS records, nor of Garry Blakely, until picking him out as the fiddle player on Barry Dransfield's "Gypsy Davey" on the "Wings of the Sphinx" album, Rhiannan RHYD5010. This should have wised me up. Barry wouldn't have any stumers on his album, and indeed he adds a supportive note to this one as well as playing some notes on the last track. "The Midnight Sun Waltz", "The March of the Kings of Loaise". With Peter Knight also adding a word of appreciation you can take it as read that Garry can handle the fiddle.

His lover of the Irish stuff comes from playing mandolin as a child with his County Down grandfather. A good start, and he went on from there eventually playing with the Telham Tinkers, and Celtic Group Brian Boru with whom he did a five year European stint. Under the name "Rogues in Rosin" he and Steve Cooke supported Steeleye Span and Christy Moore on several tours. Currently he's on the folk scene with Pete Fyffe as "The Band of Two".

So, he's paid his dues, and it shows, particularly on the instrumental tracks and in his self-backing work where he plays mandolin, fiddle, and guitar. He projects a pleasant voice well but the instrumental work is his great strength. He knows how to choose a song, not seeming to be afraid of traditional material such as "White Cockade" (Good to hear that again) along with Richard Thompson and Christy Moore songs. A good take on Jim McCarthy's "Ride On" recommends itself, and his own songs are worth a listen.

As well as "The Band of Two" Garry is playing with "The Tabs", described as a Celtic Fusion Band. All well and good, but this albums shows he can make his mark as a soloist. Now that he is Out of the Shadows we can watch how he does it.

Roy Harris

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This album was reviewed in Issue 20 of The Living Tradition magazine.