ALBUM REVIEW Twin Fiddles & Acoustic Guitar…Incendiary Celtic Performances by Two Accomplished Sirens Burning Bridget Cleary - These Are the Days Several years ago I met these ladies at an outdoor music program. For the most part the crowd was appreciative toward the performers. They politely applauded, didn't expect too much because it was a free concert, and this audience always received musicians to these shows warmly. But, when I saw these two ladies from Burning Bridget Cleary come down off the stage as they performed one of their reels and walk through the seated crowd playing their fiddles like machine guns in a blistering, exciting manner and never missing a beat – the crowd came alive. Hey, this wasn’t Elvis, Bruce Springsteen or James Brown. This was just one of the greatest high-spirited Celtic bands on the east coast and though few at the time knew it -- Burning Bridget Cleary had arrived. I sensed it that late afternoon, it was inevitable.  A recap: their second release “Everything Is Alright,” was awarded “2009 Album of the Year” by in Boston. Following this Burning Bridget Cleary (BBC) broke new ground in 2013 when a fourth CD, “Pressed for Time,” topped the Roots Music Folk Charts at #1 – and became one of the most played albums by folk disc jockeys. Additionally, in December of 2013 -- they were nominated “Top Act in a Pub, Festival or Concert,” by the Irish Music Association. Quite an honor for a band not native to Ireland.      Now, with their sixth (sic fifth) album –“These Are the Days,” – the band continues to perform in their distinctive traditional style -- mixing traditional with originals seamlessly. The fireworks are still there: with their electrifying fiddles the duo of Rose Baldino (who also plays banjo) and Scottish fiddle wiz Amy Beshara will rosin up their bows and capture your hearts with their careening, vibrating strings as they create a torrent of music that will do nothing short of stamp smiles on faces. The girls are still amazingly invigorating and have lost none of their luxuriant performance style. I still do not believe any photograph has accurately caught their "look" as they interact with their audiences as they play.  This new collection begins sprightly, as an acoustically upbeat traditional song “Madam I’m a Darling,” is superbly updated byBurning Bridget Cleary’s ladies along with Lou Baldino on crystalline guitar (& doubles on bass when necessary). Peter Trezzi continues on percussion/djembre and drums. There is a lot of Celtic oriented lyrics mixed in with English but the mood, feel and rhythm is all you would need to get your toes to tap and your hands to clap…and clap hard. Sometimes music needs no translation…the body and soul does it all. Guest side musician Brian Buchanan has guest vocals on this track.    Up next: a nice intermezzo jig. “Chloe’s Passion,” that includes the melodies of “Skin the Peelers” (Traditional)/ Chloe’s Passion”(Angus MacDonald)/ “Farewell to Whalley Range” (Michael McGoldrick). The song combination has that horse galloping stride in its rhythm. Yes, it’s an instrumental but, this is what really tests a musician’s mettle. They must convey their message through their hearts and fingers with no words, myths, fables and no story. The women manage to play succinctly with magical ambience that gives the allusion that many more fiddles are playing than actually are. Brian Buchanan returns to add one additional fiddle and his touch as well. Several years ago track 3 appeared on an earlier album (sic single) and it still has the beauty I heard the first time. “Another Day,” is an infectious Tim O’Brien / Darrell Scott melody with expressive story-lyrics typical of this kind of music. The vocals remain strong, with interwoven harmonies. “A Day in the Life of Lou: The Pistachio Nut / The Pizza Connoisseur,” are two polkas written by Rose Baldino for her father and while it sounds heavily influenced by gypsy violin it’s fitting since her dad had some Gypsy in his lineage (as the press release states). As good as these ladies are when they sing a song or two, their talent really shines when they let loose on their instrumentals – as sampled here. John McGillian plays button accordion and this is filled with so many wonderful musical colors – a real treat for the ears. Americans without an Irish background or understanding of this ancient language may have a hard time getting into the heavy lyrical words of Scots Gaelic. “Tha mi Sgith” – a traditional tune pronounced “Ha-mee-skee” translates into “I’m So Tired.”  This, as beautiful as it is melodically and sung very well – is an acquired taste. But so is fine cheese and expensive wine. Burning Bridget Clearytouches smartly on melodies that influenced them, and is the true roots of their music. It offers an education to listeners. Amy Beshara sings this nugget with sincerity.  Another inspired, feet-in-the-air instrumental “Portherhead & BBC Set” is a rousing pot of boiling chocolate fiddle pudding –Lorcan Brady joins on fiddle, Liam King adds accordion, Joe Junker strums the guitar, Nate Godshall on bodhran and James Frawley paints with the concertina. This is one of those songs that requires sawdust on the wood floors if you want to dance because sparks will fly. These men are known as Portherhead and they provide the additional value-added instrumentation that fills everything out to a new dimension to BBC. In this conglomeration the melodies include:“Girl of the House,” a traditional reel, Stan Chapman’s (a Jerry Holland song), and the traditional “Boys of Ballymoat.” I’m out of breath just listening to this one. I may need new heels on my boots.  “The Mountain,” opens with some catchy ringing haunting acoustic guitar, pristine vocals and is the most commercially viable tune on the LP. A nice grungy fiddle is a nice change with its deeper tone. The song was written by Dave Carter & Tracy Grammar and includes a typical BBC (Burning Bridget Cleary) instrumental interlude.      Fiddles fill the air again like a flock of birds with radiance on“Scones of Boxty,” and the intertwining fiddles are ever so clear and exciting. However, it’s Rose’s fiddle that is prominently featured. The contrasting tones is the secret to BBC’s attraction. John McGillian returns on button accordion and the instrumental current is punctuated by fine playing by all. A nice “wall of sound.” The melodies included under this title are: “Farewell to Miltown”(Junior Crehen) / the traditional “Three Scones of Boxty” and“Reel D’Issodun.”  With the opening strains of “Return of Skelly Shelly,” – a Lou Baldino (Dad) original, I heard shades of recent Bob Dylan melodies in my head since Dylan had been experimenting with these types of guitar signatures on his last two original albums. It's a page torn from vintage guitarists such as Les Paul and Tony Mottola. And no, I am not saying this "sounds" like Bob Dylan. Dylan didn’t invent this genre but boy, I bet if he heard this tune he wished he had written it. This is a beautiful instrumental that begs for Dylan inspired lyrics. There’s a story in these notes and it's a total Lou Baldino showcase on acoustic guitar. Absolutely brilliant. The fiddles are old-timey but filled with vigor. Lou’s guitar dominates with catchy notes. The song starts off like an old 78 rpm record, scratchy and retro. But, on this showcase that effect works brilliantly as it “opens” up into this old sound with refreshing style and segues into something that blooms like a flower. This is a favorite.     Ah…. bagpipes. Such a spiritual, happy and other-worldly sound.Andrew Forbes unleashes his fingers and breath on Scottish border pipes and Nate Godshall adds bodhran. This is so full sounding on my system – something that shames synthesizers. This has hi-fidelity, warmth, soul, and it stirs the inner man. Amy’s twin fiddles mesmerize and the dual tunes “Pipe Set: Over the Isles to America and Miss McLeod’s” are two beautiful traditional melodies not played on synthesizers but, are a synthesis of music that swells like a helium balloon and takes us aloft. God’s synthesizer is the wind and he put some of that power and endurance into man’s breath – blowing into a bag pipe. This music has shape and it endures. Jazz musicians have to jam for a long time to find their proper groove and be this intense. Bagpipes are like a one-man orchestra. Burning Bridget Cleary was wise to close out their album with this song. I’m not even Scottish or Irish – but, this music – it loosens up the knots in the mind and body. It leaves a listener wanting more. This is a fine album. The band has invited guests and these guests diversify this album's sound. Burning Bridget Cleary is a first class band and Rose and Amy continue to push their own musical envelope. Their abilities as musicians is remarkable and they have articulate fingers. The first time I wrote about Burning Bridget Cleary I had to convey their music through comparisons to others. This time out there are few. They’re beginning to sound like no other modern band who perform these types of songs and there are many others. They have found their niche and they are accomplished beyond a reasonable measure. All they have to do is hope they never run out of traditional music because that helps keep them genuine, grounded and true.      By the way, the real Bridget Cleary was "the last witch burned in Ireland" as this band’s biography details. But, that Bridget Cleary, as I mentioned before in an earlier review, with all her spells and potions couldn’t play Celtic music the way this band can. The CD was produced in Philadelphia, PA by Jim Salamone and the colorful album package was designed by Sara Turner & Brian Buchanan The album’s music was all arranged by Burning Bridget Cleary. Website: FaceBook: ReverbNation: Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this review / commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of No Depression. All photography is owned by the respective photographers and is their copyrighted image; credited where photographer’s name was known & being used here solely as reference and will be removed on request. YouTube images are standard YouTube license.” - John Apice

No Depression: a Journal of Roots Music

‘These Are The Days’ from Burning Bridget Cleary - Creating Something Different   ‘New is easy, different is difficult’ - long have I adopted that view and often used it to set the difference between bands. Those that offer something new and those that make the difference, among the latter are Burning Bridget Cleary. Listen to their album ‘These Are The Days’ and it becomes one of those that holds you from the firstnote and remains with you for simply ages. This is the tradition respected and adored, it’s also innovative musicianship making its mark and creating something different.  Intriguingly named after an unfortunate woman popularly described as ‘the last witch burned in Ireland’, about which many words continue, Burning Bridget Cleary are themselves naturally the subject of considerable concentration, and rightly deserved too. Vibrant, vivacious, infectious and captivating, pick your choice of words to describe what you hear. ‘These Are The Days’ spans the depth of melodic, Celtic tradition yet sits comfortably within its undeniably eclectic mix.  The musicianship is of the highest order, harmonies tight and controlled, energy rampant and commitment evident. Opening with a scintillating ‘Madam I’m A Darling’ before swinging into the finely crafted slip jigs of ‘Chloe’s Passion’, they add truly powerful rendition of ‘Another Day’. Other delights include two delightfully original polkas, ‘A Day in the Life of Lou’, which slide into Brian Buchanan’s lovely ‘Bill Oja’s Waltz’ featuring Buchanan on lead violin, the expressive ‘The Mountain’ and for good measure, the jaunty enthusiasm of ‘Scones of Boxty’. Burning Bridget Cleary are Rose Baldino (fiddle, vocals, banjo) Amy Beshara (fiddle, vocals) Lou Baldino (guitar, bass) Peter Trezzi (djembe, percussion), on selected tracks they’re joined by Brian Buchanan (fiddle, vocals) John McGillian (button accordion) Andrew Forbes (Scottish border pipes) Nate Godshall (bodhrán) Lorcán Brady (fiddle) Liam King (accordion) Joe Junker (guitar) and James Frawley (concertina). Find band and album here: Review: Tim Carroll” - Tim Carroll

FolkWords Reviews

Excerpted from Jack Baker's Music Column, "Piping It In"“I have been privileged to be able to follow the exploits of Burning Bridget Cleary for a long time now and I have watched Lou Baldino on guitar, Rose Baldino on fiddle, vocals and banjo, Amy Beshara on fiddle & vocals and last, but not least, Peter Trezzi on djembe and percussion, build a sound that is uniquely their own.Not trad, not pop, but with elements of both and ultimately listenable. I love their vocals, clear and sweet and blended together perfectly. I’m not too worried about putting this group in a pigeonhole to define them, they define themselves, and part of that definition includes the words “damn good”. Do I sound enthusiastic? Well I am. This band has worked hard to create their niche, and I have been lucky enough to watch them and it is impressive. Their newest CD, “These Are the Days” has just hit my desk and it is the best they’ve ever done. I love it and encourage you to give it a listen, you will not be disappointed”.  ” - Jack Baker

The Irish American News

Rocking to the smoking sounds of Burning Bridget Cleary Mike Farragher @brainonshamrox  February 04, 2014  With the namesake all over my family tree, the ears perked up when I heard of the group Burning Bridget Cleary! This Philadelphia-based Celtic rock band have been called “the Allman Brothers of Celtic fiddle bands, only prettier.”  Pretty lasses like Rose Baldino (fiddle, banjo) and Deirdre Lockman (fiddle, vocals) prove that statement to be true! They are joined by the driving rhythm and bass supplied by Lou Baldino (guitar) and Peter Trezzi (djembe drum).  They have played hundreds of gigs along the East Coast and produced four CDs.  Their second production, Everything Is Alright, was named 2009 Album of the Year by Boston-based   Their newest CD, Pressed for Time, has gotten much-deserved accolades from the Celtic radio and press communities.  Their tangled Celtic roots are embedded inside contemporary soil, with hints of the Corrs and Fleetwood Mac evident in their arrangements and performance.  “I adore thee Mother Mary, would you turn me into a witch?” they sing on “On A Sea of Fleur De Lis,” a sunny folk ditty with understated fiddling which showcases the impeccable harmonies of Rose and Deirdre.  Pressed for Time is punctuated with lovely jigs and reels like “The Black Rogue/McIntyre’s Fancy/The Twin’s Delight” for those thirsty for some trad with their pint.  The name Burning Bridget Cleary (BBC) is a tribute to the last witch burned in Ireland, according to folklore.  “The name was chosen when we started the band and we were looking for something with some mystique behind it,” says Rose Baldino. “I had just turned 16 at that time and my mom found the story of Bridget Cleary on the Internet. As teenagers, the story really intrigued us and we thought it was a little spooky, too.” The name ended up being a good luck charm for the band, giving them immediate notoriety in the upper echelons of Irish culture. “Since naming the band we have had some amazing experiences that have connected us with Bridget,” Baldino explains.   “Before our first CD was released, my dad called Liam Clancy to arrange licensing for the song ‘I Know Who Is Sick.’  He was so surprised when Liam himself answered the phone and when Liam heard the name of the band, he told my dad a childhood memory about how he and some other boys used to taunt an old man in his town that was reputed to have been involved in Bridget’s ordeal.  “We play high-energy traditional Celtic music, but with our own distinctive resonance,” Baldino says. “We add in a lot of original pieces as well as contemporary tunes and songs, but it’s base is traditional and folk music. It’s very high-energy and exciting, but we throw in some haunting airs and beautiful waltzes as well. “Deirdre and I do a lot of twin-fiddling, lots of harmonies and intricate arrangements. Lou provides the driving, rhythmic guitar, and Pete keeps us all together with his steady, consistent djembe playing. We like to keep things fresh and exciting, because we know not everyone has the ear for traditional Celtic music that we do, so we try to switch things up to keep it interesting for everyone.  “We are definitely an American-Celtic band.  I have Scottish in my blood through my mother’s side, and have always been drawn to “all things Celtic.”   Deirdre’s mom is full Irish and she has cousins in Co. Down. It takes just one listen of Pressed for Time to be cast under the spell of Burning Bridget Cleary!  Read more:  Follow us: @IrishCentral on Twitter | IrishCentral on Facebook” - Mike Farragher

Irish Voice /

Burning Bridget Cleary Pressed For Time Independent Release Green Folk I put on the uniquely named Burning Bridget Cleary album, Pressed For Time, and I think, these kids just got off the boat from the Old Sod and are trying to make it in America. Well, this energetic and talented quartet is from Philadelphia and recently returned from playing in Ireland. The irony of it all is not lost on me. The band offers tight harmonies and lively performances of traditional and folk Irish music, courtesy of fiddlers / singers Rose Baldino and Deirdre Lockman. Bass and percussion balance the music with the talents of Lou Baldino on bass and guitar and Peter Trezzi on drums. You will be entertained by their electrically charged jigs and reels and their warm ballads. Of course, I had to know the history of the band’s name and it is rather peculiar. I returned to 1895, where Bridget Cleary, the wife of a cooper, was just judged a bit different from the other villagers and that difference is all it took to brand her a witch or maybe even worse, in complicity with the faeries. The insanity of her husband and the other villagers caused her strange disappearance. It was later that her mutilated body was discovered and the trial of the century ensued, that of the last witch of Ireland... perhaps. I love things and people that are different and that difference should be and is celebrated on this high-spirited recording. Pressed for Time / Bonnie Mulligan is a full of brio instrumental. The title tune becomes the beginning of a musical chronology of historical happenstance. The band has cobbled together a rollicking set on this one. Pressed for Time opens with strong guitar strumming winding up for the fiddler’s grand performance. It is an industriously contrived reel and Bonnie Mulligan celebrates the creativity of fiddler Peter Ostroushko. I would buy the album on this song alone. Ashokan Farewell is one of the few slow tunes on the recording. Written by Jay Ungar no less than thirty years ago, it is a sweet waltz that has been used on stage and screen as a “bid thee farewell” lament. I actually remember this song from a British TV series called Copper and I thought how sad, but beautiful when I heard it. To me it had a distinctive Appalachian tone to it. Oh My Little Darling / Fire on the Mountain is a country tune, plain and simple. It does not matter what country you’re playing it in, the whining fiddles, steel guitar, and lyrics decree a square dance, a brightly lit barn, and a lot of straw. With raging fiddles, it is a fun song guaranteed to get your toes tapping, or better yet, grabbing a partner and twirling around the dance floor. At first, I thought it might be out of place, but when I considered the energy level of these music makers, it felt right at home. Again, Burning Bridget Cleary takes on the anthem of an infamous crime in the tune The Ballad of Tim Evans. This song packs a lot of driving music into a short period, but keeps your attention with solid harmonies. The crime, the murder of the wife and daughter of Tim Evans, spans several decades. Oh, Tim was dropped through the trapdoor back in the 50’s, but the question of his culpability remains as controversial today as it did back in the day.  No one likes the idea of leaving home, especially if you are the sort of people connecting to the land and its history, but that is what the song Sitting in the Stern of a Boat is about.Penned bythe Reverend William McLeod, in the early 1800’s as he leaves his beloved Isle of Skye for a new parish position in Argyll, this slow Scottish air fairly weeps with regret and trepidation.  Much of Ireland’s traditional music is based on the stories of the diaspora of the Irish in the early 20th century. Stor Mo Chroi / Eddie Kelly’s is such a tale. It is a song of lover’s separated by Atlantic waters and the promise of fortune in the Americas. The vocals are sweet on this ballad, but the music is quite strong, the band sounding much larger than a quartet. I would imagine that coming away from a live performance of Burning Brigitte Cleary would leave me drained, but in high spirits. Sometimes the music reminded me of my Meme’s (French Canadian grandmother’s) Quebecois rondos. Even if I were sitting completely still, listening to this music would make my heart clap with these tunes. It is addictive and exciting.  Highly recommended. Rating: Very Good+” - R J Lannan

Zone Music Reporter

Pressed for Time" Review Already covered in numerous accolades, Burning Bridget Cleary is on fire with their fourth album “Pressed for Time”. It is a superb compilation of traditional and old time songs and tunes of various different origins, highlighting their Celtic and American roots. The album is filled with spellbinding fiddle work and multilayered arrangements. Each track possesses a vibrant clarity and the clear transitions within the songs truly allows each of the member’s skills to shine. A perfect example is BBC’s version of Jay Ungar’s masterpiece Ashokan Farewell.  Based off of the style from the 19th Century, this slow waltz beautifully changes hands from a soft, emotionally played fiddle to the skillful finger picking of a guitar and then back. Yet, at no time does the piece seemed forced or choppy. The piece smoothly changes hands like a graceful dance. In the end, they just let the music speak for itself. Likewise, their version Stor Mo Chroi is very different from any other version. While most are melancholy and slower in tempo, theirs is not. It is performed at a faster tempo with a driving rhythm in the background. Nevertheless, we still can feel the struggle between the lovers expressed throughout the song, the angst of their separation. So while they take the arrangement in a different direction the core of the song still remains the same. Moreover, their versions of Oh My Little Darling and Two Sisters are fantastic examples from the canon of traditional music, with Two Sisters able to be dated back at least to the 1600’s. On this album, both of these songs are true standouts for me. The acapella start toOh My Little Darling with the fiddle taking lead gives it a true Appalachian feel. Plus, the percussion by Jim Salamone really helps to keep the piece driving forward. The piece blends wonderfully into Fire On the Mountain with an electric guitar solo before going into the final verse of the previous song. Likewise, Two Sisters is an up tempo murder ballad that will have you singing along with a smile on your face. After all, who doesn’t love a good murder ballad to pick up one’s spirits? While the songs I’ve just mentioned are wonderful, they are just the start. Other songs on the album to note are On a Sea of Fleur De Lis, the title track Pressed for Time / Bonnie Mulligan, The Ballad of Tim Evans and Sitting in the Stern of a Boat. Whether it is an instrumental or a narrative ballad they are all done with the same excellent care an attention to detail that BBC is known for. In short, Burning Bridget Cleary’s fourth album “Pressed for Time” is one album you don’t want to miss. In this album, BBC strips these wonderful songs back to the core and then builds around it in their own unique way. Stephen McSweeney is a High School English/Drama teacher. Besides writing for the Celtic MP3s Music Magazine, he enjoys acting, writing and playing Celtic music. He can be seen as one of the members of the band Terrible Musicians, where he plays percussion and mandolin. ” - Stephen McSweeney

Celtic Music Magazine

Piping It In I’ve been lucky enough to be involved in Celtic music for quite some time now and in that time I’ve seen bands come and go.  I’ve seen talented bands with great potential rise up like sky rockets and disappear just as quickly. I’ve seen other bands hang around long after someone should have given them the hook. Every so often I’ve seen a band with great potential, a unique sound and bucket loads of talent work their way up, playing every gig they could and finally be recognized as a great band.  Such is the case with Burning Bridget Cleary (, a uniquely talented group from the Philadelphia area that I’ve been privileged to watch over the past few years as they put out great CD’s and played their hearts out.  I’ve written about them before but they have a new CD and it’s easily their best yet. “Pressed for Time” is the name of the CD and of the first track, a Gordon Duncan reel that will leave you astonished at its complexity and at the way the band handles it. The band, I should mention, consists of Rose Baldino on the fiddle, banjo, and beautiful vocals, Deirdre Lockman, also on fiddle and vocals, Lou Baldino on guitar, bass and vocals, and percussionist Peter Trezzi who supplies the heartbeat. I like fiddle duos who know how to harmonize and these ladies do a great job. They also put together some great vocal arrangements.  In this CD, their fourth, they add a little bluegrass with a spirited version of “Oh My Little Darling” and one of the sweetest renderings of “Ashokan Farewell” that I’ve heard. The band played the Kansas City Irish Fest this year and was very well received.  They also played the Michigan Irish Music Festival in Muskegon where they were the talk of the weekend.  Everybody loved them.” - Jack Baker

Irish American News

BURNING BRIDGET CLEARY – TOTES FOR GOATS CDReview by Michael McKenna 3/22/11The birth of Burning Bridget Cleary took place on St. Patty's Day in 2006 when Genevieve Gillespie joined forces with the father-daughter duo, Lou and Rose Baldino. The combination sparks a blaze of Celtic sound that is perceived way beyond the sum of its parts!The girls front the band with their fiery fiddles, bringing a lively flair of youthful intensity and exuberance to traditional tunes. Lou‘s guitar bestows the dynamic rhythm and bass end, tastefully embellished with distinctive chording. Weaving in some choice vocal numbers and building the energy with some spirited step dancing, Burning Bridget Cleary has wowed packed audiences at the Scottish-Irish Fest in Green Lane (2006 and 2007), the Celtic Classic (2006 and 2007), the 2007 Celtic Winter Classic, the Mayfair Festival of the Arts (2008), the Spring Gulch Folk Festival (2008), the Shawnee Mountain Celtic Fest (2008) and many more popular venues.Rose and Genna met five years ago at Granny McCarthy’s Irish music sessions in Bethlehem PA- both have been first-place trophy winners in the Celtic Classic fiddle competitions. Their debut CD, Catharsis, was released in September, 2006 and"Everything is Alright", was released November 25, 2008Their influences include: Liz Carroll, Steeleye Span, Tony Demarco, Martin Hayes, Solas, Natalie MacMaster, Kevin Burke, John Doyle, Aoife Clancy, The Beatles, Alela Diane.Burning Bridget Cleary is Genevieve Gillespie (Genna) on fiddle, vox & banjo, Rose Baldino on fiddle, vox & Banjo, Lou Baldino on vocals, guitar and bass and peter trezzi on djembe & percussions.Their new CD “Totes for Goats” includes 13 eclectic tracks. “Where’s Pete” reminds me of the some of the music that was in the John Wayne movie ‘The Quiet Man’ features upbeat and peppy violins by Genna and Rose which dominate this track. “The Elfin Knight” is a traditional Scottish ballad dealing with supernatural occurrences. The song also forms the basis for both the melody and lyrics for Bob Dylan’s “Girl from the North Country” first recorded on The Freewheeling Bob Dylan in 1963. “Sloppy Set” features Sloppy’s Slip Jig, The Night Poor Larry Was Stretched and Booley House in an Irish/Folk instrumental masterpiece. It breaks down into 3 separate entities that are very refreshing to listen to!“The King and the Fair Maid” features the guitar of Lou Baldino and of course the violins in a story about a young and fair woman and the king and his knights riding in the forest. Versified into a song, it has probably been circulating for a long time before Disley of St Giles, London, printed it on a broadside c. 1860. The chorus & hook are very happy sounding! “The Unfortunate Rake” is a British folk song from the 18th century and is one of 20 of the rake cycle of ballads.“Nead Na Lachan Sa Mhuta” (The Ducks in the Moat) is a traditional Irish Tin whistle tune that is sung in Gaelic by the ladies.”Jigs for the Gangly Sort” is a nice guitar and violin duet that is gay makes one feel like he is in County Cork. “Lament for Emil” reminds me of the music played at the ancient funeral pyres. It gives one the feeling of sadness connected with the passing of a loved one. “The Blacksmith” talks about the man and his work who leaves home and goes across the sea and his lady laments at his not being near.“To My Wife, Short and Sweet” that was written by Lou Baldino starts with a laid back guitar and morphs into an energetic violin that pervades throughout this cheerful tune. “The Fort: Are You Ready Yet, Return to Milltown, Fort of the Daft Woman” is another traditional Irish favorite that spans many years. This trilogy of tunes is masterfully linked together and performed flawlessly. “The Connmara Shore” features Lou Baldino’s vocals that are a bit falsetto and give this number an Easy Listening/Folk feeling that was popular in the 70’s. ‘The Cuckoo” ballad is the Irish ballad- Bunclody (Streams of Bunclody/ Maid of Bunclody/ Bunclody) Bunclody (meaning the bottom of the Clody) is located at the foot of Mount Leinster, County Wexford. It is the meeting place of the Clody and Slaney Rivers where there are many cuckoo birds, hence where the song originated from.This refreshing CD full of traditional Irish/Scottish music is well composed, performed and produced and would make a nice addition to one’s library of Celtic classics. I give this TWO THUMBS UP!” - Michael McKenna

— PaMusicScene and The Valley Beat Weekly

 "Band Burns up the Stage at George School As the buzz of conversation and lights dimmed in the auditorium, students knew nothing of the day’s performers: a group of Irish fiddlers.  Upon this description, bodies sank a little deeper into seats and students settled in to listen mindlessly to a genre of music that is not typically on their iPods.  But by the end of the assembly, the energy was completely reversed, and the entire student body enthusiastically supported a new view of this “Irish music.”  The band, Burning Bridget Cleary, was not the type of music a group of tired teenagers would expect to fall in love with on a Friday morning, but they did.  The Burning Bridget Cleary phenomenon swept George School off its feet, and opened up a sudden new perspective to fiddling and the world of Celtic music.   Rose and Genna, the two young, energetic leaders (on fiddle and vocals) of Burning Bridget Cleary are talented musicians who magnificently bring their compositions to life on stage.  Accompanied by Rose’s father on guitar and Peter Trezzi on drums, the group’s music was not the typical Celtic band that students expected to perform that day.  Because of Rose and Genna’s lively and genuine personalities, they are masters of captivating an audience.  By the end of the assembly, they had all of George School’s students on their feet, and even some on their chairs, clapping and jumping as the girls danced their way through the auditorium.   “We began playing together as a band by accident,” said Rose as she told the story of how BBC was created.  She explained that she and Genna met when they were twelve and thirteen and had a lot in common.  They leapt upon the opportunity to play for the first time at a gig that Genna’s parents couldn’t take, and the rest is history.  The group’s fifth anniversary is this Saint Patrick’s day, and their popularity is growing and growing.  Stephanie and Bob McBride recommended BBC to Judy Bartella after seeing them perform at the Shawnee Mountain Celtic Festival in 2008, knowing that they should perform at GS.  Because of scheduling complications, it was only until this year that BBC and George School were able to coordinate a date to the O’Neill Music Assembly.   “The group had a lot of high energy, and was fun to watch,” said Emily Alexander ’12.  Jake Kaplan ’12 added that he has both of Burning Bridget Cleary’s albums on his iPod now, and his favorite songs are “Soldier, Soldier,” and “The Faeries.”  But George School isn’t the only place that is recognizing Burning Bridget Cleary’s talent.  Cheryl Baldino, the band’s manager, was pleased to share that on January 15th, two songs from BBC’s album “Everything is Alright” have been nominated for the Celtic Radio Music Awards (the songs Three Set, and Soldier, Soldier).  The awards are international, and out of 127 nominations, only eighteen were selected as finalists.  In addition, their music is being played on, the popular Internet radio that creates playlists based on one’s taste in music.   BBC is also presently recording their third album, which George School will greatly anticipate.   Burning Bridget Cleary had never performed at a high school before, but felt confident when “[they] saw how rich in culture and intellectual all of the students were.”  Sure enough, George School responded to them fantastically: BBC CD’s were emptied out of the bookstore and the Facebook comments are endlessly being posted, that Rose said are read and greatly appreciated.   “I honestly had the absolute best time at George School, and I know Genna and my Dad did too.  On the ride home… we were all smiles and talking about how awesome of a gig that was,” she said, “Everyone was so incredibly nice and wonderful, and it was so great to connect with people our age through music.” ” - Emily Mapelli

— The Curious George (January 2010)

Scene and Heard: Burning Bridget Cleary Announce "Everything Is Alright" There's lots of so exciting I think I wanna jig around the office news coming out of the Burning Bridget Cleary camp today. Namely, they've finally laid the pipes for their highly anticipated new CD--Everything is Alright. And after 9 months of writing & recording it--it's safe to say it's their baby. The album, which is sure to be ripe with cheer, will be out just in time for the holidays. They also announced a fresh batch of upcoming holiday shows including their CD Release Party & Holiday Show Extravaganza on Dec 13 at the ol' Steel City Coffeehouse.” - Chris March

The Pottstown Mercury Online