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The Ghosts of May

[acoustic guitar solos]

On his new solo guitar album The Ghosts Of May (Zefredot), Berryman wordlessly investigates Cornish tradition over twelve finely-wrought tracks (most traditional, some newly-penned). This album is warm and inviting, and far from just a showcase for Berryman’s (obvious) guitar virtuosity." Jeanette Leach, Shindig




Pete Berryman has been making fine guitar music for a few decades now, and this latest album, based on traditional Cornish tunes and songs, is as good as anything he’s recorded in the past. The word ‘based’ is the key: on tracks such as Delyo Syvy (“the ultimate Cornish song”) and Plethyn Newlyn, the original tune is used as a springboard for explorations using full, rich chording and sinuous melody lines; the St Just Cock Dance is perhaps the best example of this, with the stamping rhythms of the traditional tune framed by delicate intro and exit playing, while The White Rose brings sensitive, measured slack-key playing into the mix - anyone for the Hawaii/Cornwall border tradition? There are three Berryman originals, of which The Ghosts Of May is spooky and Pentyr  is the standout track, with swooping impressionistic bass runs evoking the Atlantic rollers on the shore. 

Caution: master at work.


Ian Kearey

fRoots. March 2011. No. 333

Free with the album download: a pdf file including cover art and background to the tunes by Cornish music guv'nor Merv Davey in conversation with Pete Berryman.

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