Once in a while, completely out of the blue, an unexpected gem turns up and this is one such. Bold is the debut album, well, a seven track taster album really, from Danny Pedler who plays accordion and hurdy-gurdy and Rosie Butler-Hall who plays five-string fiddle.
Their influences are a mixture of English and French so the first track pairs that story of a daring prison break, ‘Bold Archer’, with the tune ‘La Boite A Frissons’ (the box of shivers?) on which Rosie sings lead. She returns on the duo’s adaptation of ‘Hares On The Mountain’, a song which lays itself open to any simile you’d care to imagine. This one mentions T-shirts and ice-creams and I don’t believe those are traditional lyrics. It’s charming and clever. Danny takes lead vocal duties on a melancholy take on ‘Bold Riley’ paired with the traditional tune ‘Charlie’s March’. Danny and Rosie’s version has a verse and other lyrical variations that rarely appear elsewhere, certainly not in the texts popularised by Oysterband and Kate Rusby. It’s perhaps more a concatenation of versions than a rewrite but it is so atmospheric.
The tune sets include Cliff Stapleton’s ‘Man In The Brown Hat’ and the Anglo-French pairing of ‘Smith’s New Rant’ and ‘La Belle Jean’ both giving the hurdy-gurdy an outing. The album was produced by John Dipper and you’ll find a couple more interesting names on the sleeve. Danny and Rosie have friends in the right places. Great photo, too.
Danny and Rosie play ‘Man In The Brown Hat’: