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I Kept These Old Blues

Bradley, Muireann

I Kept These Old Blues

Tompkins Square
CD $15.50

12/08/2023 850052454036 

TSQ 4036 CD 

LP $20.50

12/08/2023 850052454029 

TSQ 4029 

MC $10.25

12/08/2023 850052454043 

TSQ 4043 

***Muireann Bradley is a young blues, ragtime, roots and folk guitarist and singer based in Ballybofey in County Donegal Ireland. Tompkins Square actually signed her when she was 13, but because of Covid and just “growing up", the process of recording took place over three years. She will be 17 in December, 2023. "This is my first album. Most of these tunes were originally recorded by the great blues men and women who were making records from the 1920s and 1930s right up in some cases to the early 1970s. I have also found inspiration for the renditions recorded here in the playing of some of the musicians who began recording this music in the 1960s and later, and who in some cases learned at the feet of the greats. Many of these guitarists played pivotal roles in the 1960s blues revival and subsequent 'rediscovery' of many of the greats of country blues. I grew up steeped in these old blues in the hills overlooking the valley of the River Finn just outside the town of Ballybofey in County Donegal. My father would play this music constantly at home and wherever we went in the car and talk about it endlessly whether anyone was listening or not, telling stories about the lives of these musicians as if they were legend, mythology or the evening news. My father could of course play all this stuff on guitar, I remember watching him when I was very young and thinking 'I want to be able to do that'. When I was nine he agreed to teach me and bought me my first little travel guitar. I worked hard to learn how to play but as time wore on I seemed to have less and less time to practice as I became more and more invested in the combat sports I was regularly training and competing in. Then in March 2020 the first Covid lockdowns happened and all contact sports were shut down. I was lost for a while but soon found my way back to the guitar. I was now listening, playing and practicing with a new intensity and focus. In a very serious moment I wrote out a list of tunes I was going to learn. The first tune on that list was Blind Blake’s 'Police Dog Blues'. I’m not sure now how long it took to get that arrangement together but when it was ready we videoed me performing it and posted it on YouTube. It ended up getting a lot of attention, I remember my parents being quite shocked and soon after that Josh Rosenthal got in touch… and here we are! Each individual track on this album was recorded live in the studio and represents one entire take with me singing and backing myself up on guitar simultaneously. Most are either first or second takes. Nothing has been added or taken away, no overdubs or modern recording tricks of any kind have been used at all so at least in some respects this album has been recorded in the same way as those classics of the 1920s and 1930s. I hope you enjoy the record."—Muireann Bradley May 2023

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