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Private Label  BLOWZABELLA2

This new recording from legendary English Renaissance revivalists has it all. Well over an hour of lively dance music, a live atmosphere, and some of the greatest names in the genre: Jon Swayne on pipes and whistles, Jo Freya on single-reed woodwind, Andy Cutting on button box and Gregory Jolivet on hurdy-gurdy. Old boys Nigel Eaton and Cliff Stapleton are unfortunately absent, but a full band sound is assured by Paul James, Dave Shepherd and Barn Stradling. The sleeve notes are excellent, and the album is very attractively packaged.

Blowzabella have gone back to their barndance roots, choosing classics and old favourites from their repertoire, tweaking and re-arranging, and the result is a huge success. Man in the Brown Hat, Go Mauve, Horizonto, Flatworld and many more come from the prolific composing talents of band members past and present. Epic Branle, Jan Mijne Man, Mominette and others are drawn from the traditions and new compositions of England, France and the Low Countries. Dance ends on the brilliant jig medley of Blowzabella, Shave the Monkey and Boys of the Mill, classic stuff indeed. There are some well-known names missing, and some omitted trademark tracks which might not suit dancers - Spaghetti Panic and Bobbityshooty spring to mind - but it's hard to find fault with this CD and the Blowzabella fanbase will be delighted.

Alex Monaghan

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This album was reviewed in Issue 86 of The Living Tradition magazine.