Colin Meadows of Old Time News
reviews 8 More Miles by Rattle on the StovepipeRattle On The Stovepipe are Dave Arthur, Pete Cooper and Chris Moreton, three performers well known to both old time and bluegrass fans. This fine collection of songs and tunes is their second CD and contains an eclectic mix of English and American material. As on their previous CD, there are full and comprehensive notes to their sources and to the history of the tunes.
As you would expect, the playing is assured, clear and precise and I think they have a better sound quality than on their first CD. I would have preferred greater variety in tempo throughout the CD and in particular would have liked to hear them going flat out on one or two tracks, but then people do say Im a bit of a speed freak.
Having heard Dave, Pete and Chris on various occasions there were few surprises in their choice of material for me but I was delighted to hear a tune from Fred Pidgeon, one of Englands premiere traditional fiddlers. On the whole I preferred the English material, its so good to hear it played well for a change. Nancy is a particularly nice version of a tune that also appears in a rather more notey version on Reed martins Old Time Banjo CD. The addition of Petes fiddle here really helps to bring out the Northumbrian flavour of the tune.
This CD is an interesting and enjoyable exploration of some of the links between English and American music, an area that could benefit from further such efforts if English Old Time bands are not to become merely copyists of what goes on in the USA.