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of Dirty Linen

reviews Four Red Feet by Chris Bartram & Keith Holloway

Traditional acoustic instrumental music from England (called English Country Music over there) isnt all that commonly found on high-quality recordings these days, and if thats in your musical sphere of interest this album would make a fine addition to your collection.  Bartram, who plays fiddle, cello, double bass, guitar and percussion and Holloway, whose instruments are melodeons, mandolins, and percussion, met in the 60s as members of the Abingdon Traditional Morris side in Berkshire and have playing music together and separately ever since.  Their years of experience and joy in traditional music are evident on this album; the playing has a relaxed air that bespeaks a comfortable relationship with the tunes and with one another.  Some tunes, like Henry Purcells Martial Air and the traditional Princes Royal, will be familiar to fans of the electric morris music played by the aforementioned Hutchins.  But others will be new to most listeners; on this album, traditional morris music rubs shoulders with polkas, marches, original melodies, American imports and a dance from the Magreb.  Even The Lullabye of Broadway is given a morrisesque treatment here.  Holloways melodeon leads most of the tunes, and hes an excellent player.  Bartram is equally fine at playing the melody on his fiddle as he is at adding atmospheric accents on the bowed bass.  This is thoughtful, well arranged and well played, and proves satisfying even on repeated listening.