Sue Harris / Pastorela
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cd cover Sue Harris
Pastorela
$17.99

Sue Harris is one of Britain's foremost dulcimer players. Although she started as an oboe player, she took up hammered dulcimer in 1975 when puffing became too much due to pregnancy with her first son. She was in one of the early line-ups of Ashley Hutchings's Albion Country Band, and has played with Richard and Linda Thompson, and John Kirkpatrick. Sue has also composed music for many BBC radio plays and for theatre productions. She is currently working with community orchestras, and as a natural voice practitioner is leading and writing music for small choirs.

This is a recording of solo works for hammered dulcimer.

Listen:

'Sharpness and clarity reign. Instrumental highlights include the O'Carolan set and a majestic Scott Skinner lullaby, but this disc is quality all the way through' -fROOTS

'This is an exquisite and strangely addictive gem of a CD. Any reservations I might have had about the hammered dulcimer were very soon dispelled as I found myself mesmerised by the warmth and infectiousness of Harris's playing. Her own The Whetstone/McColl's Jig, Scots fiddler James Alexannder's John's Jaunt, and Pastorela, a Christmas Eve tune from a little-known tradition in northern Italy are among my favourites, but choosing from such a wealth of great music is difficult. The two songs, Fair Maid on the Shore and Sprig of Thyme highlight what a fine and powerful singer Harris is. The album is refreshing in its unhurried simplicity and, like all good albums, you are left wanting more. Let's hope Sue follows this with a second...and soon.' -Boz Boswell, Taplas

'Featuring Sue Harris on hammered and plucked dulcimer and voice, this is a specialist production of very high quality. The album includes familiar pieces such as O Carolan's Cup and Fair Maid on the Shore alongside more unusual material like the title track, Pastorela, which is from Northern Italy, and the Northumbrian pipe tunes Gipsies' Lullaby, Billy Pigg's Hornpipe and Bill Charlton's hornpipe. Sue is one of the best dulcimer players around so you can pick up the full range of sounds and moods that the instrument is capable of. The loneliness and power of the Northumbrian pipe tunes comes over well for me, and two of her own jigs, Whetstones and McColl's Jig have a nice bounce.' - Chris Mills, editor, Shire Folk

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