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Alex Monaghan of Living Tradition

reviews Old Virginia by Rattle on the Stovepipe

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.