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COOPER AND BOLTON - The Savage Hornpipe

COOPER AND BOLTON - The Savage Hornpipe
Big Chain – BC103

Pete Cooper will be known to some readers for his teaching and fiddle workshops at ‘Fiddles at Whitney’ and other events.  Others may know him for his work with Dave Arthur and Chris Moreton in ‘Rattle on the Stovepipe’.  You may have one of his tune books or tutors.  He’s been around for years.  Here he is teamed up with Cellist/Guitarist Richard Bolton (a new name to me, I confess) and the results are really worth a listen.  Some of the tunes here are from the manuscripts and notebooks of Midlands Fiddler and poet John Clare (1793-1864), but there are also a couple of original compositions and, while some of the tunes may be familiar, the use of Richard Bolton’s cello ensures that the arrangements are not.  Have a listen to the percussive (sometimes literally) playing on The Sleeper, then listen to the almost classical
feel of Katya a couple of tracks later.  Pete’s no mean singer either, showing excellent comic timing and subtlety on a delightfully risqué version of The Cuckoo’s Nest.  Then, towards the end, when you think you’ve got them nailed, they hit you with the smokey, French-sounding  (to my ear) jazz arrangement of Wilbye’s Lament featuring some really tasty guitar work from Richard.  Very listenable indeed and a good showcase of some fine talent.

Phil Thomas

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This album was reviewed in Issue 73 of The Living Tradition magazine.