Link to Living Tradition Homepage





OWEN WOODS - In Any Weather

OWEN WOODS - In Any Weather
Talking Cat TCCD1602

The tide of brilliant young British box players shows no sign of abating. By that I don't mean that this is more of the same, because it is anything but. You don't have to be an expert on melodeons to hear the difference – Owen’s instruments sound to me like the heavy artillery of the melodeon army, particularly big and beefy at the bass end of the register.

That implies a particular way of playing and a talent for giving familiar tunes a new voice. Take the opening Flowers Of Edinburgh, for instance, or Linden Lea, the Vaughn Williams composition that will already be known to many listeners from its appearance in The Full English. In both cases, Owen makes his version sound completely distinctive, as he does with The Liberty Bell, the first notes of which have you waiting for Monty Python to begin. It is undeniably something completely different. A personal favourite, though, would be Foul Weather Call, which he justifiably calls “the tune of tunes” and which must be a formidable challenge to play.

There are a couple of moments where Owen seems, to these ears, to sacrifice nit-picking precision for power, but the ebb and flow of the music is none the worse for that. Apart from his solo work, Owen also plays in a group line-up that sounds fascinating, adding saxes, drum kit and tuba to his squeezeboxes. They go under the name of the Jazz Ceilidh Project. Now that, on the strength of the name alone, I really would like to hear.

Dave Hadfield

Secure On-line mailorder service
Buy this CD online from The Listening Post
The Listening Post is the CD mailorder service of The Living Tradition magazine.
This album was reviewed in Issue 118 of The Living Tradition magazine.