These Are The Days
Reviewed by: Jane Roser
Named after the victim of a sensationalized murder trial that captivated Ireland in the late 1800s (Bridget Cleary was said to be the last woman burned for witchcraft in Ireland), Burning Bridget Cleary has been a mainstay of the Pennsylvania Celtic music scene for years. Well-known for their rousing live shows, their albums deliver the same high-energy that you would expect from a group that has honed their craft to perfection.
Their fifth album, These Are The Days, showcases traditional tunes intertwined with fun originals, all delivered with tempestuous devilry and thrilling artistry. Rose Baldino (vocals, fiddle, banjo), Amy Bashara (vocals, fiddle), Lou Baldino (vocals, guitar, bass) and Peter Trezzi (drums) brilliantly complement each other and the listener can’t help but hang onto every lyric-every note.
The traditional song “Madam I’m A Darling” is exciting and fast-paced and Baldino delivers the lyrics like a melodic spitfire. It’s an addictive tune in the vein of “Donald McGillavry” and “Mary Mac” with a dash of sauciness and wit. Instrumentals such as “Chloe’s Passion”, “Portherhead & BBC” and “Scones of Boxty” made me long for the days when I lived in Scotland and attended Wolfstone, Capercaillie and Phil Cunningham/Aly Bain concerts; thrilling fiddle tunes and a whole heap of nostalgia abound in these sets.
I recently reviewed Darrell Scott’s Couchville Sessions and so was pleasantly surprised to hear a song from it. “Another Day” is a poignant, poetic song about the finality of life written by Darrell Scott and Tim O’Brien, and Baldino’s version injects a little light into a rather dour subject: ‘Some days we fall, some days we fly/But in the end we all must die/Our rotten flesh and broken bones/Will feed the ground that we call home.’
These Are The Days is a timeless, imaginative album that will make you want to dance, twirl and feel comfort in the magic of a song.