Old Virginia

by Rattle on the Stovepipe

Rattle on the Stovepipe sing and play American traditional ‘Old Timey’ music with a classic lineup of guitar, banjo and fiddle.

‘For a rattling good time, let Pete, Dave and Dan rattle on YOUR stovepipe! Great songs and tunes, mostly fiddle-led, but with fine work on banjos, guitars and (sometimes) melodeon, as well’ - Tom PaleyIn these days of too clever-clever Americana, its immensely refreshing to hear real old time music played with such verve and melodic nous, by musicians at the very top of their game. Many of the ballads and tunes collected in the US had, of course, their genesis in these isles and the repertory here is best described as Anglo-American. Sentiment in spades. this hits every spot available!..........Clive Pownceby



Dave Arthur: guitar, banjo, melodeon, drum, vocals

Pete Cooper: fiddle, viola, mandolin, vocals

Dan Stewart: banjo, guitar, vocals

1 CHINQUAPIN HUNTING 
Uncle Norm Edmonds (1889-1976) of the Hillsville/ Galax area of Virginia was the recorded source of this revival favourite. Pete learned it at the Mount Airy, North Carolina fiddle convention in 1997. A chinquapin is a type of chestnut tree with a sweet edible nut, common in south-eastern parts of the USA. Pete fiddle AEAE, Dan banjo aEAC#E, Dave guitar. 

2 SANDY BOYS 
A version of the popular Old Time song and tune put together by Dave from various traditional sources. The first two verses were taken from ‘Lizzie Brown’ a bawdy song found in Vance Randolph’s collection Roll Me in Your Arms –“Unprintable” Ozark Folksongs and Folklore’. Vol 1. These were the only two verses that could reasonably be sung in ‘polite society’. The ‘bugaboo’ in the chorus is a British Isles dialect word for a ghost/hobgoblin, most commonly known through versions of the courting song ‘The Foggy Dew’ (a mis-hearing, or rationalising, of ‘bugaboo’), the earliest known version of which, ‘The Bogle Bo’, is found in the early 19th century manuscript papers of the Newcastle bookseller/antiquarian, John Bell. Shakespeare also used the term in King Henry IV, Part II : ‘Keep close thy bogle-boe.’ The ‘Bogle Bo’ crossed the Atlantic and pops up in some versions of ‘Sandy Boys’, and as an Afro-American dialect word for ghost. The ‘Sandy boys’ worked on or around the Big Sandy River, the boundary, for its twenty-nine mile length, between West Virginia and Kentucky. Dave guitar DADGAD/vocal, Pete fiddle/chorus vocal, Dan banjo cFCFG /chorus bass vocal. 

3 BONNIE PRINCE CHARLIE 
A tune with a tangled background. Learnt by Dan from a CD in banjo-maker Barry Murphy’s collection. ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’ has been recorded three times in recent years that we know of, including this recording, and all three performers acknowledge banjo-player Bill Mansfield as their source. Mansfield and the Carolina Mockingbirds recorded it on their album Root Hog or Die (Flying Cloud FC005, 1987). In his album notes Mansfield said: ‘In 1975, at the end of an all-night music party, (Tennessee fiddler) Mike Cross played this tune on the fiddle. Peter Hartman, the banjo player for the Bell City Entertainers, learned it and taught it to me. The arrangement is my idea but Peter is the first person I ever heard use this D minor tuning. Banjo: a DADF’. Mark Cross told us that he ‘first heard it about 40 years ago from a friend who spent his childhood in Upstate New York, USA. He learned it as a traditional tune from a fellow he knew when he was a teenager. That would have been about 50 years ago.’ The A part of the tune is almost identical to the beginning of ‘The Pat-a-Cake Polka’ so perhaps there’s a dancing patissier who could throw some light on the tune! Dan banjo a DADF, Dave guitar/drum, Pete fiddle. 

4 OLD VIRGINIA 
A song widely collected and recorded in the southern Appalachians (Roud 3396), this version was from Dan Tate of Fancy Gap, Carroll County, Virginia, in his early eighties when recorded by Mike Yates in 1979 (Far on the Mountains, Musical Traditions MTCD321-2). The striking fourth verse (‘Fetch me a razor and a pan of cold water…’) also turned up in Mississippi, reported Mike, as part of the song ‘Wild Bill Jones’. Pete fiddle DDAD/vocal, Dan banjo aDGAD. 

5 ELK RIVER BLUES 
Descended from four generations of fiddlers, West Virginia fiddler Ernie Carpenter (1909-1997) composed this when evicted from his Elk River homeland by the Army Corps of Engineers. His 1986 LP Elk River Blues was re-released in 2001 by Augusta Heritage Center (Old Time Fiddle Tunes from the Elk River Country, AHR 023). We play it a little more slowly than on his recording. Pete fiddle, Dave banjo, Dan guitar. 

6 RATTLE ON THE STOVEPIPE 
Dave learnt the chorus of this Canadian woodsman’s song as a tongue-twisting children’s rhyme from American singer/banjo player Sara Grey, over morning coffee several years ago. He later found the complete song in Edith Fowke’s Folk Songs of Canada Vol 2 collected from the prolific southern Ontario singer LaRena Clark (1904-91). Dave recorded an arrangement of it in 2003 on the CD Return Journey (Wildgoose Records WGS313CD) with Pete and guitarist Chris Moreton, which resulted in the formation of the first incarnation of Rattle On the Stovepipe. Dave guitar DADGAD/vocal, Pete fiddle/chorus vocal, Dan banjo aDGAD. 

7 BILL DALTON’S WIFE 
‘Bill Dalton’s Wife’ was originally a three-verse poem from the pen of Appalachian ‘people’s poet’, Don West, father of ballad singer Hedy West. Son of a Georgia farmer, West came from a long line of radical mountain folk who influenced his lifelong stance against social exploitation, religious bigotry and racism. An authentic regional literary voice, West was also a preacher, union organiser and the founder of the Appalachian Folk Life Center in West Virginia.. His outspoken defence of, and admiration for, the Appalachian working-classes caused the FBI to dub him ‘The most dangerous man in the South.’ 
It was only on recently re-reading the poem that Dave realised how much the song and tune he put together from West’s three moving verses had grown and taken on a life of its own. 

Dave guitar DADGAD/vocal, Dan guitar/banjo b(flat) F B(flat)DF /chorus bass vocal, Pete fiddle/viola/chorus vocal. 

8 SANTA ANNA’S RETREAT 
One of our favourite tunes, learnt by Dan from our old banjo-player/maker friend Barry Murphy, from East Sussex. The original source of this, and so many other fine tunes, was the Virginia fiddler (and finger-picking banjo player) Henry Reed (1884-1968), who fortunately was recorded by Alan Jabbour in the 1960s. Several of Reed’s tunes, disseminated by Jabbour’s Hollow Rock String Band (The Hollow Rock String Band, Traditional Dance Tunes, 1968) have become staples of the Old Time repertory. Reed claimed to have learnt ‘Santa Anna’s Retreat’ from his musical mentor, Quince Dillon, who had been a fifer in the American army during the Mexican-American War (1846-7). According to Dillon it was a tune used by the Mexicans during their retreat before the victorious Americans. Jabbour, however, suggests that as versions of the tune appeared in several early British, Irish and American tune collections it was more likely to have been played by the Americans. There was, though, a significant contingent of Irish Catholics who fought heroically for Mexico as the St Patrick’s Brigade, perhaps they played it? Except that, unlike many of the Mexican troops, the St.Patrick’s Brigade were not into retreating. Many of them were deserters from the American army and they knew that if they surrendered or were caught they would be executed for desertion. This sobering thought caused them to fight fiercely to the bitter end of any engagement. Anyway, whichever side played the tune they had an ear for a good melody. 

9 DUNCAN AND BRADY 
Officer James Brady was fatally shot on 6 October 1890 when police entered Charles Starkes’s Saloon in downtown St Louis, Missouri, to break up a fight. Tried for murder, bartender Harry Duncan protested his innocence but, despite an appeal to the US Supreme Court, was hanged in 1894. There were rumours of a deathbed confession by Charles Starkes himself. The song was first recorded by Wilmer Watts and his Lonely Eagles in 1929. Pete fiddle/vocal. Dan banjo aEAC#E, Dave guitar/chorus vocal. 

10 COLEMAN’S MARCH 
Joe Coleman was a shoemaker and fiddle player from Slate Fork, KY, wrongly convicted in 1899 of his wife’s murder and sentenced to death. “While being driven to the place of execution in a two-wheeled ox cart, Coleman sat on his coffin and played a tune that has come down as ‘Coleman’s March’.“- Andrew Kuntz, ‘Last Request: Music and Legends of Condemned Fiddlers’, Fiddler magazine. Pete learned this from Bruce Greene and Pete Sutherland. Pete fiddle DDAD, Dave banjo dADF#A, Dan guitar. 

11 YOUNG AND VENTURESOME 
The song, written by Dave, was inspired by reading accounts of Englishmen who travelled to America and participated, sometimes with tragic results, in famous historical events such as the Battle of the Little Big Horn, the Battle of the Alamo, the Battle of Cerro Gordo (where General Santa Anna lost his cork leg! His real leg having been lost in Veracruz a few years earlier, fighting the French), and the War Between the States – the Civil War. Certain young Englishmen were attracted to the swashbuckling, Cavalier-like, image of the Confederate cavalry – some of the finest light-cavalry in the world. Particularly appealing were the irregular, guerrilla, mounted units such as Mosby’s Rangers and Quantrell’s Raiders. Historical details in the song are correct and provide a suggested ‘back-story’ of the Old Time version of the song ‘Angeline the Baker’ with its chorus line: ‘I should have married Angeline 20 years ago.’ The original ‘Angelina Baker’, written by Stephen Foster in 1850, told the story of a slave whose love was taken away, presumably sold at auction: Angelina Baker! Angelina Baker’s gone, She left me here to weep a tear And beat on the old jaw-bone. Dave guitar DADGAD/vocal, Pete fiddle, Dan banjo gDGBD. 

12 SHOVE THE PIG’S FOOT A LITTLE FURTHER IN THE FIRE 
From Marcus Martin (1881-1974) of Swannanoa, NC, recorded by Peter Hoover in the 1950s/ ’60s. (Marcus Martin, Field Recorders’ Collective, FRC502). A ‘Pig’s Foot’ is a type of iron poker. No animals were barbecued in the creation of this piece. Pete fiddle, Dan guitar, Dave melodeon 

13 NEW RIVER TRAIN 
On Route 94, Scenic Road, Fries, Grayson County, VA is an official roadside history marker which states that: ‘The original ‘New River Train’ song was claimed by the Ward Family of Galax as part of their repertoire as early as 1895. The song was believed to refer to the train that ran on the New River Line in 1883 as part of the Norfolk and Western system serving the town of Fries until 1985. It was first recorded in December 1923 by Henry Whitter. It has since been recorded by a number of artists including local residents Kelly Harrell in 1925 and E.V. ‘Pop’ Stoneman in 1928.’ Dan banjo aDADE /bass vocal, Pete fiddle /vocal, Dave guitar/vocal 

14 THE GYPSY GIRL 
A song once popular on both sides of the Atlantic. Dave can’t remember from whom he learnt the words, not from Charlie Poole and the North Carolina Ramblers, even though the lyrics are almost identical. Nor from the Carter Family who also recorded a very similar set of words. The provenance of the tune, however, he does remember. Like many young folk guitarists two of his first finger-picking tunes were Davy Graham’s ‘Anji’, and Sam McGee’s ‘Buckdancer’s Choice’ learnt from a private recording of Tom Paley. A couple of years ago he started playing the tune at half-speed, with more swing and less finger-busting rush. Not wishing to waste this new-found, more laid-back ‘Buckdancer’s Choice’, he started singing ‘The Gypsy Girl’ to the tune and found it fitted like a glove. Surprisingly, this light-hearted tale of the young Gypsy girl who makes her own luck was one of the band’s ‘hit numbers’ on our tour of Japan. Japanese audiences completely got the humour implicit in the tale. Dave guitar/vocal, Pete fiddle/mandolin/chorus vocal, Dan banjo b(flat) F B(flat)DF. 
CHINQUAPIN HUNTING
Uncle Norm Edmonds (1889-1976) of the Hillsville/ Galax area of Virginia was the recorded source of this revival favourite. Pete learned it at the Mount Airy
SANDY BOYS
A version of the popular Old Time song and tune put together by Dave from various traditional sources. The first two verses were taken from ‘Lizzie Brown’ a bawdy song found in Vance Randolph’s collection Roll Me in Your Arms –“Unprintable” Ozark Folksongs and Folklore’. Vol 1. These were the only two verses that could reasonably be sung in ‘polite society’. The ‘bugaboo’ in the chorus is a British Isles dialect word for a ghost/hobgoblin
BONNIE PRINCE CHARLIE
A tune with a tangled background. Learnt by Dan from a CD in banjo-maker Barry Murphy’s collection. ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’ has been recorded three times in recent years that we know of
Sample not available
OLD VIRGINIA
A song widely collected and recorded in the southern Appalachians (Roud 3396)
Sample not available
ELK RIVER BLUES
Descended from four generations of fiddlers
Sample not available
RATTLE ON THE STOVEPIPE
Dave learnt the chorus of this Canadian woodsman’s song as a tongue-twisting children’s rhyme from American singer/banjo player Sara Grey
Sample not available
BILL DALTON’S WIFE
‘Bill Dalton’s Wife’ was originally a three-verse poem from the pen of Appalachian ‘people’s poet’
Sample not available
SANTA ANNA’S RETREAT
One of our favourite tunes
Sample not available
DUNCAN AND BRADY
Officer James Brady was fatally shot on 6 October 1890 when police entered Charles Starkes’s Saloon in downtown St Louis
COLEMAN’S MARCH
Joe Coleman was a shoemaker and fiddle player from Slate Fork
Sample not available
YOUNG AND VENTURESOME
The song
Sample not available
SHOVE THE PIG’S FOOT A LITTLE FURTHER IN THE FIRE
From Marcus Martin (1881-1974) of Swannanoa
Sample not available
NEW RIVER TRAIN
On Route 94
Sample not available
THE GYPSY GIRL
A song once popular on both sides of the Atlantic. Dave can’t remember from whom he learnt the words

Living Tradition

Alex Monaghan

this music seems designed for listening in a rocking chair with a pipe or a glass of something tasty: the sort of old-time American music often described as "front porch".

This English trio plays typical old-time instruments: fiddle, banjo, guitar, mandolin and ... melodeon?! There is a bit of English influence from time to time here, but if you imagine it's actually a blues harp, the melodeon works really well. Instrumentally this is powerful stuff, thoughtful arrangements and some fancy picking, admittedly at a relaxed pace and packed with minor cadences. The lead singing is strong, and the occasional backing vocals are more in the manner of audience participation than barbershop harmony. Sandy Boys, Duncan and Brady, New River Train and Old Virginia are classic southern ditties. Young and Venturesome and The Gypsy Girl owe as much to this side of the Atlantic as to the other, while the song Rattle on the Stovepipe is apparently Canadian and I don't believe it featured on the group's previous recordings. There's a brief spark of joy in the Deliverance-tinged reel Shove the Pig's Foot a Little Further into the Fire, perhaps even enough to spill your whiskey, but certainly nothing to get you out of that rocking chair, so just sit back and wallow iin the music.

Le Canard folk

Marc Bauduin

C'est bien s�r de la musique am�ricaine, principalement old time, mais jou�e par des Anglais, et c'est cela qui est int�ressant. Le trio tire son nom d'une chanson de b�cherons canadiens et est form� de Dave Arthur (chant, guitare, banjo, accord�on, batterie), Pete Cooper (violon, alto, mandoline, chant) et Dan Stewart (guitare, banjo, chant) qui s'int�ressent au folk anglais, am�ricain, irlandais et �cossais. On voyage le temps de 14 chansons et instrumentaux traditionnels dont la base est clairement am�ricaine mais qui laissent r�guli�rement appara�tre des �l�ments plut�t anglais -

c'est un m�lange de cultures qui se donne un air tout naturel

Folk Northwest

Derek Gifford

Right from the start of this album you know you are going to hear something special from Dave Arthur, Pete Cooper and Dan Stewart collectively known as Rattle on the Stovepipe. These are seasoned performers with impeccable pedigree in terms of their musical ability and the amount of experience in research and understanding of the material.

The opening track Chinquapin Hunting (try saying that when you've had few!) illustrates the sheer joy and skill of their music.

There is a mix of music and songs most of which are new to me including the title track song Old Virginia and their namesake song Rattle on the Stovepipe. I particularly enjoyed Gypsy Girl which is a bit of a hybrid in terms of tune and word match and, evidently, was very popular when they were on tour in Japan with the Japanese audiences!

The music and song fairly lilts along all through this album and it is a sheer pleasure to listen to. The three tune set Shove the Pig's Foot, A Little Farther and In The Fire aptly exemplifies this.

Fourteen tracks of traditional British and Appalachian songs and tunes performed to perfection. I'm sure that this is an album that will stay in my car for some time to come. What more can I say? This is probably one of the easiest (and shortest!) reviews I've had the pleasure of writing for some time!

If you like Old Timey music then this is for you.

It comes, as always with this label, with full notes on the songs and tunes and is nicely presented. Buy It!

Available from the Wild Goose web site or through Proper Music Distribution.

fRoots

Vic Smith

Having seen Rattle On The Stovepipe live on many occasions, it is possible to reveal that they always start their performances with an instrumental. Invariably, it has the audience leaning forward on their chairs in an attitude of pleasurable expectation of musical treats to come. It is the same with this album; the lovely opener, Chinquapin Hunting, sharpens the listeners' ears for more delights � and they are not to be disappointed.

The trio brings together two of the British folk scene's most admired veterans, Dave Arthur and Pete Cooper. Both have been members of leading bands and duos for decades now but never has either been heard to better effect than in this line-up. The third member is the much younger multiinstrumentalist Dan Stewart. Living in the same area as Dan and seeing him perform fairly often, it has been a great pleasure to see his rapid progress on his main instrument from talented newcomer to his present position as one of Europe's leading Old Timey banjo players.

On their earlier albums, the band concerned themselves with the transition and transfer of songs and tunes from Britain to the New World. This time they have clearly landed in North America as they present a well-programmed and carefully researched selection of tunes and songs.

Following the usual sequence of listening to the album a few times before reading the notes, it came as a considerable surprise that Young And Venturesome was in fact written by Dave, when it has all the qualities of a 19th-Century Civil War-era American composition. Ah yes, and the notes� It is very interesting that every word in the excellent booklet tells us about research, facts and anecdotes on the tunes and songs and not a word about themselves. That seems to tell us quite a lot about the band's attitude and approach.

Fatea

David Kidman

There's been no personnel change for this trio since recording 2010's No Use In Cryin' CD, with Dave Arthur (guitar, banjo, drum, vocals), Pete Cooper (fiddle, viola, mandolin, vocals) and Dan Stewart (banjo, guitar) still rattlin' that old stovepipe in time-honoured fashion; its latest collection of tunes and songs, however, is drawn almost exclusively from the American traditional old-time repertoire. Rattle On The Stovepipe have a special selling-point in that all three of the trio's members are intensely versatile as musicians and remain ever-open to the influences and practices of English, Scottish and Irish folk music as well as their deep love for old-time (especially Appalachian) music. Hence the title of this latest record, of course.

It covers a musical territory that will be almost entirely familiar to the enthusiast of old-time music, but this isn't a bad thing when the performances are as warm and self-evidently full of communicative enjoyment as these. And with erudite yet accessible liner notes gracing the accompanying booklet, the listener who's less accustomed to the repertoire will find even more to delight in.

The approved recipe of the trio's previous discs is followed once again, with songs succeeding tunes in more or less equal proportion and moods and tempos sensibly varied throughout the course of the record. And even where the chosen pieces are already well-known, Dave and his accomplices prove themselves more than capable as researchers and assemblers of credible performing versions (Sandy Boys and The Gypsy Girl furnishing prime examples). One disc highlight, Dave's version of Bill Dalton's Wife, has its origins in three verses by �people's poet� Don West (Hedy West's father), whereas another, Dave's own composition Young And Venturesome, was inspired by reading accounts of Englishmen who travelled to America and participated in famous historical battles.

As before, Pete and Dave share the vocal leads virtually equally, and their forthright delivery and common intensity of expression is audibly drawn from the same wellspring as the old traditional Appalachian singers (you need only to sample the disc's title song for a persuasive demonstration). Intensity and conviction is also very apparent in the instrumental selections, out of which I particularly enjoyed the trio's leisurely but swinging takes on Elk River Blues and the spirited Virginia fiddle tune Santa Anna's Retreat. Oh, and it's interesting to hear Dave's melodeon being brought out of its case to pump along to Shove The Pig's Foot A Little Further In The Fire! Deliciously revisited here, too, with good purpose, the very song that gave ROTS its trading-name back in 2003 (just prior to the trio's first incarnation).



Old Virginia proves a heartwarming and tremendously enjoyable disc that does exactly what the press handout proclaims � �puts a smile on the face and a skip in the step� � and does it all almost without trying!

Mardles

Mary Humphreys

Yet another blisteringly good album from my favourite Old Time band. If you get depressed by the news headlines that get worse every day, I heartily recommend you buy this album as an antidote. There is hope for the world out there if there is music like this.

The singing led by Dave or Pete sounds authentic - raw, not pretty. You don't want pretty voices for these songs. The music is lovingly played with swing and consummate style by three men who are at the top of their tree in this genre of music. Sara Grey who is well-known in this part of the world has a lot to be thanked for - she taught Dave the children's song from which the band gets their name. They sing a version of it on this CD and I defy anyone to work out what the song is about!

My favourite song on the album has to be Bill Dalton's wife, a sad tale of a wife who dies in labour through her husband's lack of money to pay for medical attention. It is so appropriate that this has been recorded now. Listening to this should remind us of a situation which could still happen today because health care is being whittled away by stealth. Dave put the tune to and adapted three verses written by Don West, who the FBI dubbed "the most dangerous man in the South" because of his activism on behalf of working folk. Bravo Dave!

Dan Stewart's frailing banjo, Pete Cooper's fiddle and Dave Arthur's guitar or melodeon revel in such wonderful tunes as Chinquapin Hunting, a tune of eccentric length with some lovely tricky corners learnt by Pete in North Carolina and Coleman's March - a tune written on the way to the scaffold by a wrongly-condemned man. Here Pete tunes his fiddle so that he can play wonderful discords that resolve to release the tension. I just have to keep listening to this track over and over!  Sandy Boys is a haunting compilation of traditional verses that have been selected for their singability in polite society, sung with a smile in his voice by Dave. Most of the songs were written or compiled by Dave from various traditional sources. They are varied in mood, subject and instrumentation and demonstrate his deep and extensive knowledge of this genre of traditional music. The last track on the album - The Gypsy Girl- is one which folks on this side of the Atlantic will recognise immediately as having practically the same words as the Joseph Taylor version but an intriguingly different tune which Dave explains in the extensive and informative sleeve notes.

This gets my vote of Best Album of the Year. They are going to be at Whitby Folk Festival.  I can't wait to see them again.

EDS

Fred McCormick

Deep down inside me, there's a chunk of prejudice which says that musicians from this side of the Atlantic shouldn't go messing with the music of Americana. The reasons for such a notion are buried in the roots of the folk revival and needn't be discussed here. However, this CD represents all the evidence you could ever need to refute it.

Rattle on the Stovepipe are not just three master musicians. In my humble opinion, their combined talents are the equal of anything that our cousins on the far side of the Atlantic might muster. What's more, they treat their material with the kind of integrity and honesty which it undoubtedly deserves.

This, their fourth WildGoose CD, ploughs a well chosen furrow of songs and instrumentals, many of which will be familiar to old timey buffs. Those which will prove less so include 'Young and Venturesome'   a self composed song from band member, Dave Arthur, about Englishmen joining the American military; an instrumental called 'Santa Anna's Retreat', and perhaps the gem of the whole record, 'Bill Dalton's Wife'. This latter was amplified by Dave Arthur from a Don West poem, and given a tune which, I can only say, fits the words like a glove. Incidentally, if you're into bizarre titles, you won't do much better than 'Shove the Pig's Foot a Little Further into the Fire'.

The booklet notes are a delight to read, being well written and informative without ever sliding into the pitfalls of pedantry or irrelevance.

I suspect that some old timey fans may find this disc a little too laid back. All I can say is, try playing it on a hot July night, as I did, with all the windows open, the fan going, and a cooling drop of whatever you fancy. It's magic.

Fiddle Magazine

Chris Mills

Some classy playing on this CD from Rattle on the Stovepipe, outstanding fiddle, guitar and banjo from the band members, Pete Cooper, Dave Arthur and Dan Stewart.

They are all multi instrumentalists who respect this music and know the style inside out. And they do play well together, with a sensitivity to each other's contribution, a hallmark of any good band. There are some well chosen harmonies and neatly swapped licks between fiddle and banjo, as on "Bonnie Prince Charlie" and "Santa Anna's Retreat" and Davey Arthur's self penned ballad, 'Young and Venturesome' which tells the story of an Englishman finding misadventure in the American Civil War using the tune "Angelina Baker" as a theme, is very engaging. There is also a version of "Shove the Pigfoot a Little Further in the Fire" with fiddle and melodeon, the latter adding a nice feel of Eurobounce to the listener's experience.

The pleasure of seeing Pete's Appalachian style fiddle and the excellent musicianship of Dan and Dave in a live setting is not to be missed, so go along if you get the chance.

This is a great CD which represents the style well, but this kind of music is always at its best and most distinctive when

played live.

Shire Folk

Mike Blair

Dave Arthur is well known to old folkies (or should that be fogeys?) like me, as one half of Dave and Toni Arthur. He has now teamed up with excellent fiddler Pete Cooper and banjo frailer Dan Stewart to form Rattle on the Stovepipe  which also happens to be one of the songs on their latest collection.

Dave has always loved American folk music from Virginia and the Carolinas, which shines through on this relaxed, and relaxing, album of fourteen tunes and songs. Most people would recognise the dance tune 'Chinquapin Hunting' (if not the title) and other foot tappers include 'Bonnie Prince Charlie' and 'Santa Anna's Retreat: The sleeve notes are wonderful for anyone wishing to play along or learn the tunes, with very interesting background information, as well as banjo and guitar tunings.

Songs include 'Duncan and Brady' about the 1894 shooting of a police officer in a St Louis Saloon Bar with some great mandolin by Pete; 'Sandy Boys; about a night time hobgoblin called the bugaboo; and a self penned story by Dave himself, based on Angeline the Baker, a well known banjo tune. On a couple of the slower songs, including the title song 'Old Virginia; Pete tunes his violin to DDAD, almost dulcimer tuning, to very good effect.

I thoroughly enjoyed this collection, and thanks to the tunings, may well plagiarise one or two in my best schoolboy clawhammer!

Folk Monthly

Frank Chester

Three great names in traditional music have got together to create this album, which blends the worlds of British and Appalachian folk in a highly original way. Dave Arthur, Pete Cooper and Dan Stewart have created a collection of rip roaring songs and tunes, using guitars, banjos, drum, fiddle viola and mandolin to back their distinctive vocals.

Dave has toured the world   much of it with his former wife, Toni Arthur   and recorded several albums for the

Topic, Transatlantic and Leader labels. He was awarded the Gold Badge of the English Folk Dance and Song Society 11 years ago, and has a lifelong interest in American old time music. Pete is a fiddle teacher in London, and like Dave, is a frequent visitor to the United States to study the styles he loves. Dan is a senior medicines analyst, who still plays with the Sussex ceilidh band Old Faded Glory.

Together they have created a highly original sound, bringing together a collection of tunes from both sides of the Atlantic certain to interest any student of American music. Much of the album alternates between song and tune, and includes such standards as Young And Venturesome, Bill Dalton's Wife and Duncan and Brady   perhaps best known to folk fans through the Martin Simpson version of 2007.

Great listening music, especially while driving, it is definitely one for the session fan.

Tykes News

Mike Feist

Most visitors to Whitby Folk Festival will be aware that the trio of Pete Cooper, Dave Arthur and Dan Stewart can be relied upon to rattle stovepipes and anything else in earshot with their combination of fiddle, banjo, and guitar, with occasional switches to mandolin and melodeon. Their latest recording, Old Virginia, showcases American old time music at its best with a wide range of tunes and songs culled from a variety of sources.

The CD comprises mainly traditional material, some of which, e.g. Sandy Boys, Duncan and Brady, New River Train and the imaginatively�titled Shove the pig's foot a little further in the fire, are well known, but others much less so �Bonnie Prince Charlie, Elk River Blues. Chinquapin Hunting and the resigned air Coleman's March attributed to a wrongfully�condemned fiddler. And if you've been wondering about this band's name, the song Rattle on the Stovepipe is included; whether you'll be much the wiser depends on what you make of such lyrics as 'She was kissing, I was wishing/Didn't know what she was about'!

Dave Arthur contributes a new song about an Englishman caught up in American history � Young and Venturesome set to the Angelina Baker tune. He also supplies an appropriately plaintive tune to Don West's moving poem, Bill Dalton's Wife, which has topical relevance in the context of paying for private medical care. Both song and tune fit seamlessly with the traditional offerings.  Mention should be made of the exemplary sleeve notes which encapsulate all anybody would wish to know about the songs and tunes plus � and prospective players take note � the tunings used for each number.



So altogether a welcome contribution to American old�time music both this side, and dare I say, the other side of the pond. If you're not already into this genre or just like good music, this is a good place to start!  

Around Kent Folk

Bob and Kathy Drage

This trio of Dave Arthur, Pete Cooper and Dan Stewart explore the interwoven worlds of traditional British and Appalachian songs and tunes. Their musical background makes them uniquely qualified to delve into this fascinating cross cultural area. Dave regularly visits the Appalachian region where he collects songs, stories and plays with local musicians. Pete is a respected fiddle teacher and researcher   his interest in Old Time music stems from living in West Virginia and North Carolina in the 70's. Dan started with recorder and guitar before turning to Old Time Banjo. 'Chinquapin Hunting', 'Sandy Boys', 'Bonny Prince Charlie', 'Elk River Blues', 'Santa Annas Retreat' to 'Duncan and Brady Colemans March' and 'The Gipsy Girl'  all guaranteed to put a smile on your face skip in your step and warmth in your heart. Very informative notes about the songs and tunes are on the insert. Sensitive ballads, hell for leather dance tunes, memorable chorus songs and sheer good fun   that's Rattle on the Stovepipe.