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Mary Humphreys of Mardles

reviews no use in cryin' by Rattle on the Stovepipe

I put this on the player and was absolutely captivated by the music. It has scarcely been off the player since. Pete Cooper (fiddle, viola & vocals) Dave Arthur (banjo,vocals, guitar and melodeon) and Dan Stewart (guitar, banjo) are Rattle on the Stovepipe and make a superb sound between them. They do a brilliant line in rhythmical and instantlyappealing Old Timey songs and tunes which are well?researched with comprehensive sleeve notes. Some of these tunes and songs are closely related to those of the Old Country and the trio delight in playing the originals so that we can hear the development and evolution. Just listen to the two banjos playing on Rock that Cradle Joe ? a cousin of the Cumbrian national anthem D'ye ken John Peel, which is given an airing so the listener can compare the two.

All but three of the songs and tunes are traditional. The tracks are craftily arranged to give variety and to discourage listener fatigue. Vocals are interspersed with tunes throughout and vocalists are alternated until the end of the CD, when Dave sings the last two numbers which are so well?contrasted that one doesn't even notice!

Dave Arthur, who for many years edited the magazine of the EFDSS has a long track record of research into and performance of traditional song in England and the Appalachian region sings with an edge to the voice that fits the songs like a glove. He plays superbly rhythmical banjo, guitar and melodeon. Pete Cooper has a more mellow voice that suits the more lyrical songs he chooses. He is a much?revered researcher and teacher of fiddle and those of you who frequent London tune sessions may have seen him there with an illustrious set of students, including Verity Sharp who presents Late junction on BBC Radio 3.
Dan Stewart is anew name tome. His banjo playing is to die for and he plays guitar too.

If you want to find out more about the individual members of the group visit www.davearthur.net/rattle.html where you will get plenty of information about them. Pete Cooper has an excellent website well worth checking out with lots of information for fiddlers:www.petecooper.com.

Don't forget, if you want an instant antidote to the blues, go out and buy this CD. You will have a smile on your face right the way through it and for hours afterwards!