Feast Of Fiddles – Walk Before You Fly

I didn’t know that Elmer Bernstein was a closet ‘folkie’ and that he’d contributed to a canon of ‘folk’ tunes that grace this great little silver disk. Then again, I’m not sure either what he would have thought of having his ‘Magnificent 7 Theme’ being both crusts to a jig sandwich with “Victor’s Return” & “Tar Road To Sligo” as the filling. Somehow though I think he’d have a wry smile on his face rather like that of this reviewer. As an opening hand this could be quite a gamble but for those that have seen this band of merry men on their annual foray around the UK will already know that as well as exceedingly fine musicians they also enjoy a bit of a laugh with their audience. The line-up reads like a who’s who of the scene including Phil Beer, Ian Cutler, Peter Knight, Tom Leary, Chris Leslie, Brian McNeill and Garry Blakeley and that’s just the fiddlers! In the engine room we have Dave Mattacks (drums), Hugh Crabtree (melodeon), John Underwood & Martin Vincent (guitars) and Dave Harding (bass). Perhaps not so cool these days but personally I’m pleased to see a return to the time-honoured riffs and guitar solos as utilised on Crabtree’s “Ivor The Knight” that were so much a part of the make-up of folk-rock bands in the 70’s/80’s also listening to “Dave Robert’s French Waltz” brings a sentimental longing for days that have long since past. As you’d expect, the album features many fine traditional (and traditional sounding) tunes but it’s the band’s cheeky doffing of the cap (although still respectful) tribute to Aerosmith and Deep Purple that will get tongues wagging. More please fellas!

Pete Fyfe

Artist website: http://www.feastoffiddles.com

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