Personnel: Jon Boden (vocals, fiddle); Benji Kirkpatrick (guitar, banjo, bouzouki, mandolin); Rachael Mcshane (fiddle, cello); Sam Sweeney (fiddle, pipes); Paul Sartin (fiddle, oboe); John Spiers (concertina, melodeon); Brendan Kelly (bass clarinet, saxophone); Andrew Mellon (trumpet); Justin Thurgur (trombone); Pete Flood (percussion).
Audio Mixers: Bellowhead; Toby Hrycek-Robinson.
Recording information: Gighouse Recording Studio, Leamington Spa.
Photographer: Hugo Morris.
After the occasional chaos of their first album, live gigging gave Bellowhead a chance to tighten their game. On their sophomore effort, 2009's MATACHIN, they conjure up a variety of material and arrangements that play to their instrumental and vocal strengths. For the most part the music is still traditional, but in many ways you'd hardly know it, since stylistically it pretty much falls out of time: sometimes a touch of dark cabaret, sometimes like a New Orleans brass band lurching madly. Jon Boden's voice commands attention, particularly on the creepy "Widow's Curse." There's plenty of fire among the musicians, and although the arrangements can be quite complex, they gobble them up with glee.