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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Tom Bliss Transatlantic Sessions, new series (42) RE: Transatlantic Sessions, new series 17 Mar 12

Jim Murray has played on quite a few tracks in this series. He's a simply wonderful musician, and with Tim Edey, one of very few at the top of the game who uses a classical nylon-strung guitar. Musicians in T-AS often sit for part of a track without playing or singing, but I have never seen anyone in shot who has made no contribution at all. The fewer people on stage the better, from a directors point of view. If you saw a shot of Jim not playing, and then did not see him playing later on or ealier, it was probably because the camera did not happen to pick him out. (If you listen carefully you will probably hear his guitar at some point).

Sometimes an instrument will be left on a stand or in the hand from one track to another because it's better to keep them in the very warm conditions under the TV lights then take them out to a cooler place.

Personally I find the split between songs and instrumentals, and between West and East Atlantic, to be almost religiously 50/50. And I love hearing, say, Mike McG adding left-handed flute to a cajun song, or Jerry adding dobro to a Scottish lament. That's the whole point for me: Experimentation of the most sophisticated kind, and extremely illuminating in terms of helping to understand the flow of styles over the centuries around and across that wide ocean.

Series 1 was absolutely the reason I returned to folk music (I was told about it by the original cameraman Martin Singleton while working with him in Scotland), and I still love the show. Occasionally a track fails to float my boat, but some of the most sublime TV I have ever witnessed has been on this programme:

Jay Ungar and Ali doing Ashokan Farewell in Series 1, Darrell Scott singing You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive in Series 4, and last night Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh singing an utterly brilliant Leaving Limerick - accompanied by beautifully restrained melodeon from Sharon Shannan and - yup he was actually playing - deft nylon guitar from one Jim Murray.


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