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MP3 Na Mara - The Kingshill Valley

Mandolin and guitar-based folk music with traditional airs and reels and sublime vocal balladry.

13 MP3 Songs
FOLK: Traditional Folk, FOLK: Gentle

Na Mara are a St Albans (UK) based duo - Paul McNamara (Guitar and vocals) and Rob Garcia (Guitar and mandolin). Their repertoire ranges from arrangements of Irish fiddle tunes for mandolin and guitar, to songs and ballads arranged for voice, guitar and mandolin.

Paul has been playing folk music since his teens and is back playing seriously after a long time away from music. Born and bred in Middlesbrough, he lived for seven years in Scotland, nearly ten years in Oxford and now lives in Hertfordshire. His career outside music has been in academia and business. He now works in central London.

His main love is traditional music from around the world and his inspiration from contemporary musicians is drawn from the incomparable Richard Thompson and many of those with whom the great man collaborates. ‘Black Muddy River’ is a case in point, taken from the superb collaboration with Norma Waterson.

In terms of the musical projects he is currently working on, he is looking at modernising older folk ballads, many of which have lessons and parallels for us all that seem timeless. He is also looking at translating and updating songs from the French tradition, many of which have tunes of stunning beauty and which seem rarely to be exposed to a British audience.

Rob was born in London of Spanish decent – his parents arrived in the UK as child refugees from the Spanish Civil War in 1937 – he trained as a professional musician and classical guitarist, studying at music conervatoires in the UK, Spain and Sweden.
He has played solo and duo recitals in the UK and Europe and been a teacher.
His career outside music has been working in business, based in London.
He has recently discovered the mandolin and owns a Fylde mandolin and a Giovanni De Meglio (1899) mandolin. Future project include adaptations and arrangements of Irish fiddle tunes for the mandolin, and delving into the Baroque mandolin repertoire.
His musical tastes and influences range from Classical Baroque to Irish folk, and Flamenco.
Other interests besides music include languages: he is a fluent English and Spanish speaker, proficient in Italian and French, mucks about with German, and dabbles with Swedish and Greek. He is considering studying ancient Tocharian.
He is also a fine cook specialising in Spanish cuisine, and makes the best tortilla this side of Bilbao!

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