Gipsy melodeon player, Lementina “Lemmie” Brazil, was born near Southampton and spent 26 years of her youth in Ireland, before her family returned to England to settle in Gloucester. She described some of her tunes as “Irish” and used to play for step-dance competitions. Peter Shepheard recorded her in the 1960’s and early 70’s and Gwilym Davies recorded her twice, in October 1977 and April 1981, when she was living on a caravan site near Gloucester. She played a one-row melodeon in C. We have transcribed her music in D or G.
The youngest of her siblings, Danny Brazil, like many of the family, was able to play a few vigorous dance tunes on the mouth organ. Denny Smith was an uncle of the well-known singer Wiggy Smith. (See MustradCD, MTCD307, Wiggy Smith, Band of Gold). Peter Shepheard recorded him playing the Manchester Hornpipe . He played it twice, once alone and then for Danny Brazil to step to. The second time, he played in a more dotted rhythm than the first. On the same occasion he played the Cliff Hornpipe, but unfortunately the first 2 1⁄2 bars were not recorded. A triple CD of the family’s music and songs can be obtained from Musical Traditions, MT CD 339-40, www.mustrad.org.uk.