The Burning Bridges – Close To Home

by | 3 Aug, 2021 | 2 comments

The Burning Bridges Cover Shot

Here is a new album from Australian band The Burning Bridges – Close To Home.

It is not often we get to hear of a new release from an Australian Bluegrass or Old-Time band but here is some very exciting news form a group called The Burning Bridges. Their last release, an album called Down This Old Road, was back in 2017. The Burning Bridges have named this new release Close To Home, leaving us with the expectation of something familiar and perhaps more local.

The Burning Bridges - Close to Home AlbumThe Burning Bridges features Peter Somerville, Fran Martin and now their son, Tom Somerville. The group is joined by Andrew Forrer on double bass, Pete Denahy on fiddle, guitar and bass and Craig Woodward also on fiddle.

The new album features 14 tracks, many of which are old-timey in feel and presentation, with Fran Martin singing much of the lead vocal along with partner Pete Somerville. The majority of songs/tunes presented are written by Fran, Peter and Tom. In fact the album features nine of the fourteen songs written by members of the band. Other tracks come from the more traditional stable, such as Cindy, Trouble in Mind.  Then, there is Merle Travis’ Dark as a Dungeon and A Satisfied Mind from the pen of Joe (Red) Hayes and Jack Rhodes to add to the mix.

Tracklist for Close To Home:

  • Weary Bird – Fran Martin
  • Poor Man – Frank Proffitt
  • Break My Shackles – Fran Martin
  • Possum in The Bedroom – Tom Somerville
  • Trouble in Mind – Trad
  • Cindy – Trad
  • So Many Tears – Fran Martin
  • Myers Creek – Tom Somerville
  • Restless Heart – Fran Martin
  • Late Dawn – Tom Somerville
  • Dark as a Dungeon – Merl Travis
  • The Road I  have Travelled – Fran Martin/Peter Somerville
  • A Satisfied Mind – Joe (Red) Hayes/Jack Rhodes
  • The Lomond Song – Fran Martin/Peter Somerville

As would be expected, this album comes replete with some great musicianship from Peter Somerville on banjo and resophonic guitar, along with Peter Denahy on fiddle. Somerville leaves no doubt about his mastery of the banjo, both in bluegrass and old time style. Fran Martin’s prose is both pleasingly melodic and offers a sometimes poignant reminder for our times. Not only is her voice pleasingly suited to this music genre, she has developed into a wonderful songwriter. We may hope for many more fine songs to follow. Tom Somerville has penned some very intriguing and memorable fiddle tunes which he plays effortlessly on mandolin and guitar. He has a wonderful ear for the old-time sound. It was as though these tune were written many, many years ago.

This is a great album featuring a down-to-earth Australian family band with talent to spare. Pick up a copy below:

You can preview and buy the album from this link. Be sure to check in to their Facebook page too.


  1. Bruce Crouse

    12 yr old Tom Somerville wrote the tune “Myers Creek” .. and his dad Peter composed “O’Leary’s Waltz “that many of us here in NS, Canada are playing and really like … nice review … thanks for posting …

    • Greg McGrath

      Thanks Bruce, always great to hear feedback.