Three tunes, two camels and a bouzouki are just some the ingredients of George Stevens’ debut EP. His featured instruments are bouzouki and border pipes to which he adds bass and various exotic percussion items and enlists the aid of guitarist Mick Mepham.

George is a primarily a luthier – a builder of beautiful hand-crafted instruments – but has been playing for more than thirty years. These three original tunes are two bouzouki pieces: ‘2 Camels’ and ‘Age Of Empires’ and ‘Polesworth Abbey’, a pipe composition featuring The South-east Kent Border Pipe Ensemble. They provide a striking contrast. George describes ‘Age Of Empires’ as simply a bouzouki rhythm and it features Mick’s electric guitar making it the most modern sounding of the three while ‘3 Camels’ has a more traditional middle eastern sound, heavier on the percussion. ‘Polesworth Abbey’ is an air and variations which begins as a solo over grumbling drones before expanding as the ensemble joins in.

This is splendid set and I’m pleased to say that George is working on an album. Meanwhile 3 Tunes is something of a collectors’ item as well as a fine introduction to the man and his music.

Jeff Diaries

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