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Muireann Bradley: Ireland’s Young Roots and Blues Virtuoso Showcases Her Craft in Acoustic Guitar Sessions

by Madonna

Muireann Bradley, a talented musician hailing from rural Ireland, has emerged as a remarkable acoustic guitarist, capturing the essence of vintage blues and folk with authenticity and conviction. At the age of 13, during the lockdown phase of the Covid pandemic, Bradley dedicated herself to honing her skills, and now, at 17, she stands out as a prodigy with a remarkable fingerstyle technique.

Inspired by legends such as Robert Johnson, Blind Blake, and Reverend Gary Davis, Bradley embarked on her musical journey under the influence of her father, a fellow musician. Her early videos, showcasing her exceptional talent, caught the attention of Josh Rosenthal from Tompkins Square Records. Recently, Rosenthal released Bradley’s debut album, titled “I Kept These Old Blues,” a collection of vintage blues and folk standards that resonate deeply with her musical sensibilities.

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Filmed exclusively at St Anne’s Church of Ireland churchyard in Ballyshannon, Bradley demonstrates her prowess by performing three classic songs: Reverend Gary Davis’ “Candyman,” Blind Blake’s “Police Dog Blues,” and Memphis Minnie’s “When the Levee Breaks.” Beyond her captivating performances, Bradley shares insights into the historical significance of each song.

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To achieve an authentic period-correct sound, Bradley skillfully navigates her arsenal of guitars, including the Gibson LG-2 reissue, the Waterloo WL-S Deluxe with ladder bracing, and her personal favorite, the X-braced Waterloo WL-14X, whose V-shaped neck she affectionately describes as feeling the most like home.

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Bradley’s musical journey, from discovering the blues pioneers with her father to gaining recognition from Tompkins Square Records, showcases not only her technical prowess but also her deep understanding and appreciation for the rich history of roots and blues music. As she continues to carve her path in the world of acoustic guitar, Muireann Bradley stands as a testament to the enduring power of music to transcend age and captivate audiences with its timeless allure.

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