LUKE PLUMB - A Splendid Notion

LUKE PLUMB - A Splendid Notion
Shoogle Records Shoogle08009

There are some meetings which history records, such as Livingstone and Stanley, whilst there are many more which are not.  One such lesser-known encounter was between Luke Plumb and the band Shooglenifty at Devonport airport.  The immediate outcome of that was that the Shoogles not only had a mandolinist sitting in on their gig that night, but had acquired a new member who is with them till this day.

Here, in complete contrast to the complexities of the Shooglenifty sound, is Luke playing mandolin as lead instrument, with percussion tastefully added in by James Mackintosh.  That can be a tricky combination, so full marks to engineer Calum Malcolm for the tonal balance.  This is a traditional album, with most of the tunes well-known to session players, but seldom are they played with such clarity and dexterity.  Luke has a mastery of his preferred instrument – a Steve Gilchrist model – and we get exactly what it says on the label, namely an opportunity to hear the mandolin in its own right as a lead instrument.

Luke is right up there with the very top exponents of mandolining, putting a drive and a feeling into the tunes which allows a range of expressive tones and shades.  Fellow mandolineers and aficionados will be well-impressed, and those who do not rate this instrument so highly will surely re-evaluate their opinions when they hear what can be produced,

Gordon Potter

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This album was reviewed in Issue 82 of The Living Tradition magazine.