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24 September 2014

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Somerset Sounds - Reviews

Thrisha Haldar - tabla player
Thrisha Haldar

Review: The Ridgeway by Dragonsfly

Mike Elliott
World music supergroup Dragonsfly, whose members hail from Draycott, Butleigh and Glastonbury, have released their eagerly awaited second album, The Ridgeway.

Maya Preece - vocalist and multi-instrumentalist
Maya Preece

Aptly titled The Ridgeway, symbolising the journey of life and connection with the land, this disc offers a tremendous mix of self-penned and traditional tunes, new and old. I feel it would make a valuable addition to any music collection.

I knew that You Have God, which was massively popular at Priddy Folk Fayre and is written and sung by Maya Preece, was going to be included, and so I was excited at the prospect of hearing the CD for the first time.

But I was totally blown away by some surprise inclusions. Notable amongst these was La Belle Dame Sans Merci, the haunting poem penned by John Keats - before his untimely death in 1821 - with suitable music added.

Dragonsfly, who come from Draycott, Butleigh and Glastonbury, have really turned up trumps too with their rendition of Ve David, a rousing traditional Hebrew tune in the Hava Nagila mould, driven along by the magical tabla playing of Tom Simenauer.

The lyrical imagery in Breath of Spring is superb, on which Maya has added her inimitable style to a Verdic chant.

Nathan Williams (left) and Daygan Robinson

Nathan Williams wrote the title track, The Ridgeway, which is a very chirpy tune. He also sings on Dacw Nghariad/Goddesses. These tunes complement the mix of dance and performance songs, and instrumental tracks.

Appropriately, another Dragonsfly composition, World In Union, which is written and sung by Daygan Robinson, rounds off this masterpiece.

The Ridgeway lasts well over 50 minutes, and I feel it captures the unique essence of Dragonsfly.

The group will play most of the tracks from their album, when they perform at Glastonbury Town Hall on Saturday 22 January from 8pm. Tickets are £8 on the door, or £7 if booked in advance from Crystal Man shop (Northload Street, Glastonbury).

Dragonsfly are as exciting visually as they are aurally, so it's bound to be a great event to kick-start 2005.

last updated: 03/02/06
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Paul & Shaz
we watched them perform at the chalice on mon 20th June fantastic night, such a talented group...cannot wait to see them at Party In The Paddock 2005

John Binfield
I first came across Dragonsfly just a few days ago when they played at my friend's wedding party. I was completely wowed by Maya Preece's voice, their combined sound and the individual instruments. So much so that I there and then bought 'The Ridgeway' CD. It's the kind of music that sounds better and better the more I play it. Absolutely magnificent!

Maya from Dragonsfly
If you want to contact Dragonsfly by email for CD's or gigs and events, then write to email: or call: 01934 741606

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