Gwawr by Estron review

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For many years one of my favourite bagpipe albums has been John Tose’s ‘Cerrig Dymuniad’ and it was with great excitement that I awaited the album from the band Estron, which features John’s piping and a similar approach to traditional Welsh tunes. Estron comprises John Tose - pibau cyrn, Danny Tose - also pibau cyrn, Micky Tose - ukulele and clarinet, Holly Robinson - fiddle, and Jess Ward - harp, it’s a great combination which suits the repertoire perfectly and gives the impression of a lively gathering of musicians, sharing tunes and enjoying the tradition.

The album features a lovely range of tunes, some pretty old and some which have become established in the Welsh tradition more recently.

Dance tunes like ‘Jig y Pendref’ are played with in truly rousing style and then melodies for hymns like ‘Gwahoddiad’ prove that they are made to be played on bagpipes and just invite you to play along.

The album shows that bagpipes in harmony are a beautiful thing, and the harp sometimes provides light accompaniment whilst at other times drives the rhythm of the dance tunes. It’s one of those albums that you’ll be enjoying many times and before you know it, end up playing the tunes. An excellent addition to the world of Welsh bagpipe music.

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