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Sara Grey & Kieron Means

Live, Broadstairs Folk Week 2007

…There were of course, many other highlights during the weep and those most worthy of mention from my B.P.’s perspective were Sara Grey, Kieron Means and Ben Paley and a musician from the antipodes named Chris Aronsten. Broadstairs is a town festival, so artists play in various places; pubs, halls, seafront, bandstand and just about any nook or cranny they can find. The best of these perform in the marquee and it was here B.P. heard Sara, Kieron and Ben perform their set. This was really an Old Time performance par excellence I was told, as one would expect with Sara Grey’s wonderful singing being accompanied by her son Kieron and surely one of the best fiddle players around, Ben Paley. This was not to be missed. The trio did not disappoint (although apparently Sara obviously thought that the marquee was going to fall down because of the weather)! Their set was really wonderful and totally professional as you would expect. I just wish my B.P could play like Sara, but I dare not tell him in case he has one of his heads and I will not get a tune out of him for weeks!

Old Time News, January 2008

A Long Way From Home

…Well, what do you know?! Two Ritchie songs are amongst the choicest cuts on this CD. Son and mother really do them justice, and they are joined on the album by Ben Paley on fiddle.

What a name that is! As a one-time huge fan of The New Deal String Band, it’s great to see that father Tom Paley’s musical genes have been so faithfully passed on to the next generation: albeit, to a son skilled in a different instrument.

Dai Woosnam, Living Tradition #65, Oct/Nov 2005

As Far as my Eyes Can See

On [some] tracks, Kieron appears solo, but on most of the rest he’s supported by Sara (vocal and banjo) and/or that other son-of-a-real gun Ben Paley, fiddle player extraordinaire (New Deal String Band, McDermott’s 2 Hours, Expatriate Game etc.) with a highly individual style all his own.

David Kidman, Stirrings

Ben Paley’s Appalachian fiddle is a real asset…. “Far As My Eyes Can See” is an excellent collection of United States rural music at its best and not a rhinestone or fake emotion to be found.

Tim Willets, Shreds & Patches #36

Sandy Boys

…the tremendous Ben Paley on fiddle

Oz Hardwick, BBC Radio 2

Any new record from the unforgettable Sara will always be a cause for celebration, and Sandy Boys is even more so. Not least in that (like its 2005 predecessor A Long Way From Home) it also involves the exceptional musicianship of her son Kieron Means — and the abundantly sensitive fiddle playing of their young colleague Ben Paley. Both of whom, incidentally, often join Sara on bookings these days.

Sandy Boys is simply a gorgeous and treasurable release: a veritable oasis, a haven for the weary soul. And with typically fulsome booklet notes too.

David Kidman, Netrhythms, September 2009

…Ben Paley’s fiddle adds to the old-time authenticity of Sara Grey’s vocals and clawhammer banjo style while Sara’s son, Kieron Means, plays guitar and provides backing vocals. Obviously this isn’t primarily a fiddle album, but listening to Ben Paley’s artistry in the company of other acknowledged masters of the genre is a real pleasure. There are some lovely dance tunes, such as “Fine Times at Our House”, where Ben takes the lead, and ‘Sandy Boys’, where he sets a driving rhythm to accompany Sara’s singing and the weird lyrics about raccoons, possums and bugaboos!

Geoff Ager, Fiddle On