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Jacqueline Patten of EDS (EFDSS)

reviews 8 More Miles by Rattle on the Stovepipe

The cover of this CD, depicting a typical highway in the southern states of America, and the title, 8 Miles More, immediately conjure up the style of music about to be heard, the AngloAmerican old time style; while the name of the band, Rattle on the Stovepipe, gives good insight into the relaxed approach to the music adopted by the performers. The band comprises Dave Arthur, Pete Cooper and Chris Moreton. Given their musical background and credentials, it is not surprising that the album features fine instrumental and vocal renditions, in a professional yet relaxed manner.

All members of the band feature on lead vocals, while Dave plays guitar, banjo and spoons, Pete fiddle, and Chris the guitar. On occasion a melodeon can also be heard. Each of them has a breadth of experience in the music industry, specialising in traditional music, and that knowledge and understanding manifests itself in the relaxed style, a style sympathetic to the origins of the music. They obviously enjoy playing together, a fact conveyed to the listener. They are confident with the material, their style and each other.

Dave Arthur, a former editor of English Dance and Song, has written excellent, succinct and comprehensive notes. Drawn from a two hundred year time span, 1740s to 1940s, the choice and order of the tracks provides variety and cohesion. The opening track, 'Tennessee Mountain Fox?Chase', is an upbeat instrumental piece that attunes the ear to the style and starts the foot tapping. It is followed by 'Eight Miles to Louisville', a song written in 1947. These set the different styles and tempos for the rest of the album.
As well as praise for the band, congratulations should be given to Doug Bailey for an excellent recording. The final words are taken from Shirley Collins who, writing in the CD booklet, in turn quotes Samuel Pepys: 'a perfect pleasure'.