This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
You might say the disc’s true “cuckoo in the The detailed sleeve notes (which throughout, concept, but immaculately done, it’s hard to
nest” is Magpie, a song which Maddy herself trace original as well as contemporary argue with music this plucky and adventurous.
wrote in the late 60s but had, apparently, sources) show that the band takes its music Sometimes new wine and old bottles aren’t
stayed clear of performing until now (and this, seriously. The package is further enhanced by incompatible.
the final “official” track, is followed – after an woodcuts and line drawings on every page.
infuriating, interminable 16 minutes of silence – Alternating tunes with songs, the CD makes for Clive Pownceby
by a rendition of Drink To Me Only). Maybe, just entertaining listening with standout moments
maybe I sense a slight forcing of Maddy’s tone throughout – a spirited reading of Grey Eagle;
on parts of Jock Of Hazeldean, but that’s an a stomping Down In Little Egypt; a version of
TONY HALL
almost insignificant point when set against the Ephraim & Lawton Woodie’s Chased Old Satan
One-Man Hand
unqualified triumph of the project as a whole. that feels like an overheard revival meeting.
Yes, Maddy still weaves her own inimitable, And in case you wondered, the title (and the
Wild Goose WGS351CD
uplifting magic on this timeless material. cover) comes from an 1880 tourist brochure:
it refers to the area around Ashville, North
David Kidman Carolina.
DOWN TRODDEN
Nigel Schofield
STRING BAND
METHERA
Land of the Sky
Methera
Down Trodden Music DTM010
Own Label YAN001
Tony Hall is one of the most amazing two-row
melodeon players I’ve ever heard. A sort of
melodeon Bix Beiderbecke, he taught himself
the instrument at a time when it was almost
unknown on the folk scene, and consequently
learned ways of performing things that normally
would be dismissed as “too difficult” or “not
possible”. He also has a wider view on music
than many – music from the tradition, films and
TV all feature in his repertoire, for no worse
reason than that they are damn good tunes.
Eschewing contemporary approaches to music, He is a fantastic accompanist: I remember
The Down Trodden String Band took a rootsy
There can’t have been too many of us lying
Will Atkinson playing a slow-air on the mouth-
approach to making this album – recording
awake for nights on end thinking “if only
organ once, and Tony Hall accompanying him
everything “live in the studio” and, wherever
someone would unite the rich texture of
perfectly on two-row (and there’s precious
possible sticking to single takes of well-
the string quartet format with the depth and
few could have managed that) whilst his
rehearsed material. That’s the way records used
integrity of traditional music, if only…”
contribution to Nic Jones’s “Penguin Eggs”
to be made: this is the way music used to be. was a major element in the success of some of
However those who have brooded for perhaps
the songs.
The quartet is from Derbyshire and feature two
years in this fashion can now dispense with the
mandolins, guitar and banjo. The music is from
Sominex as Lucy Deakin, Miranda Rutter, John
This is his third solo album and possibly his
the South Appalachians and features songs
Dipper, Emma Reid on cello, viola and fiddles
best so far, with a super selection of varied
and tunes from the likes of Charlie Poole, the
respectively, inspired by the creative musician’s
material and beautiful playing. I was very
Tar Heel Rattlers as well as contemporary artists
need to innovate and experiment have done
pleased to see that several of his quirky
exploring old recordings. Some of the album’s
just that. Already feted by BBC Radio Three’s
humorous songs have been included, such as
seventeen tracks are very familiar material
Verity Sharp (Late Junction) most artists would
the wonderful Haddock Song, with a “middle
(Handsome Molly, Blue Ridge Mountains, Miss
never risk, much less accomplish so wonderful
8” that Milligan would have been proud of. The
Liza Jane etc.); others will be new to all but the
a rabbit-from-hat as is realised here.
only thing I would say is that the CD should
most dedicated archivists. The band has been come with a health warning – trying to imitate
playing together for almost a decade and this
The co-operative, whose individual names
the deceptively beautiful and easy sounding
is apparent through the tightness of both their
should be familiar from membership of such
performances here may lead to dislocated
playing and vocals, which feature extensive
varied outfits as the English Acoustic Collective,
fingers!
harmonies. There is throughout an English
The Bezzas, and Jabadaw deploys its talents
tinge to the overall sound that prevents the set
to good effect. It’s a focused work too, by turns
Paul Burgess
from drifting into pastiche. (Take a listen to the
jaunty and stately. The originals, which include
closing a capella bars of Lazy John to see what
the opening Apple Scrumping (Miranda) and
I mean.)
Orange and Green (Lucy) are interspersed with VARIOuS ARTISTS
trad. numbers (Lumps Of Plum Pudding/Henry
The recent increase in interest in Old Time
Cave’s Hornpipe) and dovetail so easily that
A Celebration of the Music of
music means that the band’s time has come
it’s hard to see the join. A voyage of sonic and
Gordon Duncan – A National
and the CD marks a key step from successful
cultural experimentation then, is the idea; a
and popular appearances at local clubs and
richly rewarding euphonic experience is the
Treasure
festivals into a larger world. The band clearly
net result. “the tunes we choose to play, both Greentrax CDTRAX327
bear in mind that Old Time music is also Good
traditional and newly composed are those
Time music – and their pleasure in playing
that enchant us”, say Methera and who could The early loss of a loved one can be hugely
is evident throughout. The music is tight and
disagree with such a mission statement? The devastating to those who remain. One of
together, but also fun.
surprise of the year to these ears; an untried the reactions of Gordon Duncan’s family and
The Living Tradition - Page 2 Sponsored by BIrnam CD
Issue80.indd 42 14/7/08 14:54:33
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