Brass Monkey Head of Steam
- Released: April 20, 2009
- Label: Topic Records
Dirty Linen - p.55"[A] joyous and playful album....Carthy performs a definitive and staggeringly beautiful rendition of 'The Trees Do Grow High'..."
- 1.The Moldavian Schottische / The Snowdrop Polka
- 2.The Press Gang
- 3.The Barbados Lady
- 4.Lichfield Tattoo / The Radstock Jig / The Quickstep from "The Battle of Prague"
- 5.The Trees They Do Grow High
- 6.Banbury Bill / The Old Woman Tossed Up in a Blanket / The Beau of London City / Hunt the Squirrell
- 7.Bold Archer / Dearest Dicky
- 8.The Red Lion Hornpipe / Peckett's Hornpipe / The Welch Hornpipe
- 9.The Loss of the Ramillies
- 10.Nelson, The Fallen Hero / The Death of Nelson
Personnel: Martin Carthy (vocals, guitar); Martin Brinsford (vocals, harmonica, saxophone, percussion); John Kirkpatrick (vocals, accordion, concertina, anglo concertina, melodeon); Paul Archibald (vocals, trumpet, piccolo trumpet, flugelhorn); Roger Williams (vocals, tenor trombone, euphonium, bass guitar); Roger Williams His Piano and Orchestra (tenor trombone, bass trombone, euphonium).
Audio Mixers: John Kirkpatrick; Oliver Knight.
Liner Note Authors: John Kirkpatrick; Martin Carthy.
Recording information: The Old Vicarage, Bussage, Gloucestershire (10/2008).
Arrangers: Roger Williams His Piano and Orchestra; John Kirkpatrick; Martin Carthy; Paul Archibald; Martin Brinsford.
Back after a while with a slightly revised lineup, with Paul Archibald seamlessly replacing the late Howard Evans, Brass Monkey do what they do so well -- taking traditional music and songs and giving them a brass bite. The vocal duties are split between the venerable John Kirkpatrick and Martin Carthy, with Kirkpatrick's relatively straightforward style working better here than Carthy's idiosyncratic delivery. As always, the choice of material is exemplary and unusual, with some great pairings of tunes and songs, as on "Nelson the Fallen Hero/The Death of Nelson," while old chestnuts get a reworking, such as "The Trees They Do Grow High," which gets a new (albeit really old) vocal melody. The instrumentals are wonderful, where the brass (and harmonica) really get a chance to shine, rather than just the necessary punctuations they bring to the songs, and there's even Morris dance music with a twist on one set. All in all, it's a very welcome and creative return, and a remarkably big sound for a five-piece. ~ Chris Nickson
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