reviews/press


General

“…Hertfordshire-based duo (Rob Garcia and Paul McNamara) specialise in considered translations of songs from the French-speaking world, but even better are Paul's original songs exhibiting a keen sense of history. Simple but expert accompaniments (guitar and mandolin/mandola), equally dextrous on instrumentals …” fRoots

“…You may put Na-Mara on the list of enjoyable English duos, such as veteran Knightley and Beer or young Cadie and Bloomer. Paul is an ingenious songwriter in the traditional vein…” Folk World

Live performances

“…Their musical skills are superb and their songs are of the highest quality…” Milkmaid Folk Club, Bury St Edmonds

"Opening the show were Na-Mara, a guitar and mandolin duo from St. Albans, who like to perform traditional numbers from France and Spain alongside British songs. Yet it was their two own compositions that were particularly stirring, on account of their themes: The Garden of England, about contemporary slavery in Kent, and Navajos & Pirates, about German resistance to Hitler. When folk takes on humane political concern the power of music is particularly affecting." Rychard Carrington, commenting on Na-Mara support for Phil Beer.

“…the bards of the Celtic world…” Lost Horizons Folk Club

“…musical dexterity and superb vocals…” Uxbridge Folk Club

“…their own songs are heartfelt, warm and full of historical and emotional integrity…” Watford Folk Club

Navajos & Pirates, 2015 album

...."Na-Mara brings together talented English singer songwriter and guitarist Paul McNamara and wonderful mandolin player Rob Garcia..... The title track .. is an immediate classic, combining meaningful lyrics with a powerful melody and refrain...A stunning album indeed, combining English French and Spanish traditions and exquisite songwriting, presented in a confident and warm manner, by one of the outstanding duos on the English folk scene. Michael Moll, Folk World #58 CD Reviews, November 2015

....“Na-Mara write fantastic songs and the stories grab you from the start......“Navajos and Pirates contains an excellent and varied choice of material, beautifully sung and played, well recorded, well paced and never boring.” Nygel Packett and Sue Whitehead, Folk London October-November 2015, Edition No. 279 ,pg 43

......"......Thoughtfully and intelligently crafted, lyrically and musically, with consideration for pacing and spacing, the songs give due primacy to their folk stories with a certainty of authenticity and integrity, feeling and atmosphere, as is evident in their live performance too....." Kevin T Ward, Living Tradition magazine, No. 109, August/September 2015

... ." ....If you already own Na-Mara's previous albums then you will know the quality of what is contained on Navajos & Pirates, if not then it is release is a great starting point. An album that I thoroughly recommend. ...Paul's storytelling really is top notch,.....(T)here are also translations of traditional French songs ..... With these re workings Rob & Paul have certainly produced new versions of these songs that work on all counts." David Chamberlain, FATEA, 11th June 2015, see http://www.fatea-records.co.uk/magazine/

...."...‘Navajos and Pirates’ captures Na-Mara’s live sound admirably, and will surely enhance the duo’s burgeoning reputation." Mike Nacey, Unicorn Magazine, Issue 131, pg31

...."....Masterful singing and playing of subjects close to their hearts. An excellent album." Around Kent Folk, Issue 71, October/November 2015

...."... Their verve and intelligence far outweigh all vicarious or pious instincts..... From ‘Avery and the Merchants of Bristol’ to ‘Three Bonny Ships’, endeavour and commitment abound." ,Nick Burbridge, **** review, Rock & Reel Magazine Vol 2(52)

....." ... trademark acutely-observed own-compositions......,complementing well-realised translations of songs of French origin and sprightly instrumental pieces from Spanish, French and Breton traditions." fRoots, July 2015, No. 385

...."...The Silver Duro sets the standard for intelligence in lyrics right across the CD..." "The Garden Of England .....Wake up – if you don’t watch the news at least hear this track.."....Played on mandola, mandolin and guitar there is enough variety here to give Na-Mara ...distinction and individualism of approach. " Simon Jones 14th September 2015, Spiralearth

..."...In addition to the fact that this album is a wonderful eclectic mix of continental ballads, schottisches and sea shanties, a final word of praise must be given to the talented musicianship on the album. The mandolin dances in harmony with some fine rhythmic guitar accompaniments. " Mike Rudge, MARDLES magazine

..."...Rob and Paul summon up five self-written songs, a lovely parcel of French and Breton folklore and fabulous muiñeira and danza tunes from Galicia and Asturias, both Celtic nations in Northern Spain." Mick Tems, FolkWales Online Magazine

…"… The album is full of songs that are a fascinating mix… Well worth checking out. " Folkcast 111, http://www.folkcast.co.uk/items/FolkCast111-August2015.mp3 (c30mins in)

The Bite, 2010 album

“…’The Bite’ is a lovely CD….brilliant stuff…". Genevieve Tudor BBC Radio Shropshire

“…simple precision is perhaps the defining characteristic of this, Na-Mara's third album……played with a delicacy that adds a pleasantly chilly frisson to a selection of material gathered from around the world and which often explores the darker side of life. Continuity comes in the form of the quality of storytelling; and that's what Na-Mara do best: tell stories to which you can't but listen...” Rock & Reel Magazine **** review

“…Resplendent in both trad and self penned songs, ‘The Bite’ is a fine testament to the songcrafters art…... Na-Mara have delivered an album strong on justice across history and borders...” FATEA Magazine (See www.fatea-magazine.co.uk )

“ … 'The Bite' takes up where Na-Mara's previous collection left off with unpredictable gems aplenty gathered from the Celtic diaspora…. they turn an austere sound into elegant one with their voices displaying the required authority for such subjects. Punctuated with more epic dramas, this album is an education and a delight …” www.spiralearth.co.uk

“……Na-Mara are a Hertfordshire duo who specialise in Celtic music in the true sense of the word: Irish, Breton, French, Spanish; all accompanied by guitar, mandolin, mandola which creates an Anglo-Spanish style and feel. In short, everything that could be so wrong, but here is perfectly pitched and comes out so right. It’s almost impossible to categorise musically, other than with a generic Good stuff!...”The Living Tradition

“…A visit to the Na-Mara website is also worth while as you can find not only biographies but also lyrics, sound bites and links to videos of some of the songs in live performance. All in all a truly rewarding experience and well worth your time – give the web site a try then buy the album…” Folk Monthly

“…The more I hear this the better it gets. I really hope to get an opportunity to catch them live, but if not this album is pretty remarkable in its own…”Shreds & Patches Magazine

“…They are elegant and skilled musicians on guitars, mandolins, mandola, and bandurria. This is powerful and well-performed stuff…”Folk London

“…Undoubtedly Na-Mara’s most interesting and accomplished work to date, this very enjoyable CD already has me looking forward to the next…”Unicorn Magazine