25 Jun 2024

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Gerry Paul - Single Review: The Fairy Child

19 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland

Gerry Paul surely needs no introduction, as not only he is an established musician who has shared his wares in more than 40 countries around the world (as well as more than 40 American states), a festival organiser and award-winning children’s author, but he is also incredibly well-known within the folk community. Most recently he and his colleagues in T-Bone well-deservedly made it to #2 in the NZ album charts with the excellent Good ‘n’ Greasy, and he has called on those friends to join him again in this new single. Some ten years ago, when he was preparing for a show at the Wellington Museum of City and Sea, he heard that the much-loved New Zealand author Margaret Mahy had passed away at the age of 76. To place Margaret into context for those who have not grown up with her, her death was given as much coverage as other national treasures like Sir Peter Blake and Sir Edmund Hillary, there was a public memorial service in Christchurch, and the following year New Zealand Post issued a series of five Margaret Mahy postage stamps featuring the covers of her most popular books.

She meant a great deal to Gerry, and as a tribute, he put her poem The Fairy Child to music and performed it at that show. Ten years later he has now recorded it with T-Bone, as well as bringing in Irish fiddler Tola Custy to add additional elements over the top. The result is delicate, reflective, and performed in homage. There is a great deal of space within the arrangement, with the banjo, mandolin and guitar picked and delicate, double bass adding just the right amount of bottom end, and then the violins weaving their spell. Of course, the vocals are wonderful while the harmonies are spot on, and the result is something which will please fans not only of Gerry, but also those who have loved Margaret’s works over all these years. To complete the package, David Elliot, the illustrator of The Word Witch, allowed his original illustration for the poem to be used and added that this was a “great tribute to Margaret…and I’m sure Margaret would have been chuffed”. This is something I have enjoyed immensely, and the next time I am with my grandchildren I am going to play this for them as I know they will love it as much as I have.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )

About Gerry Paul

Gerry Paul is an award winning songwriter, musician, producer, children’s author, television presenter, and festival director - who in his spare time likes to go spearfishing, wrestle sharks and discover new recipes for cooking kai moana.

He has just released a debut album with his Good-Time Americana Kiwi Folk band, T-Bone, titled Good ‘n Greasy. The album went to No. 2 in the New Zealand album charts and the band completed a North Island tour with sell out shows in Wellington, Taranaki, Leigh and Kerikeri. The album consists of seven of Gerry’s original songs and two more he has co-written with the band.

Dublin born and raised in the Hutt Valley, Gerry spent sixteen years touring the world with some of the biggest names in folk music and has performed in over forty countries, including forty states in America. He has played in some of the world's most prestigious venues including the Sydney Opera House, The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, the National Geographic Headquarters in Washington DC and at over 500 music festivals including Cambridge Folk Festival, Roskilde Folk Festival, Woodford Folk Festival, Port Fairy Folk Festival and WOMAD festivals around the globe.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Gerry Paul


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