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Jerry Bix of Whats Afoot

reviews no use in cryin' by Rattle on the Stovepipe

This CD is truly a delight from start to finish. Never showy, never flash, its quiet understatement draws you in and fills you with wonder. To describe it as old tyme Americana would be to miss the point completely, even though that clearly is the style if a label is required. Here is a collection of songs and tunes, some very familiar, others less so, presented as fresh as if they were newly minted.

I’m sure you all know the tune “Princess Royal” and many of you will have danced to it, maybe as a Morris jig. Here it could have just come down from the mountains, yet you could still dance that jig. We’ve all heard (or sung)“Roll, Alabama, Roll” belted out as a shanty; here their banjo, fiddle and guitar rhythms bring the story alive, same words, same tune – new song – it’s magic. Actually it’s not magic, its sheer talent and craftsmanship and being at one with the music and the genre.

It sounds authentic, but there are no fake American accents or strident solos to upset the gentle tenor of the whole. My personal favourites are the classic seafaring maid song, “Short Jacket and White Trousers” and the Carter Family “You’ve been a Friend” – one quintessentially English, the other equally American; brought together, not as strange bedfellows, but as complementary facets of the richness we enjoy in folk music.

Dave Arthur (Vocals, Banjo, Guitar, Melodeon), Pete Cooper (Vocals, Fiddle, Viola) and Dan Stewart (Guitar, Banjo) will need no introduction to many of you and this I feel is their best offering yet. Throw away any preconceptions about your taste in musical styles and listen to this CD. I promise you will be delighted and entranced. Then buy it; then play it to all your friends.