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The Boat on the Lakes

Picked up a copy of "A Trip To The Lakes" by the Boat Band from John Offord at Blackheath practice a few months ago out of curiousity.

One of the most noticable things listening to this a distinct lack of bass notes from the melodeons. Not really sure the intrument sounds quite as interesting without the strong bass accompaniment, especially as they're still a very dominant instrument on the tracks in which they feature.

At times the album ventures almost into bluegrass which gives a strange image of the Lakes as the wild west, particularly on "Dear Tobacco" and "Stybarrow Crag". You suddenly find there are tepees on Blencathra and gun fights on the banks of Derwentwater. Perhaps, that's just me though?

What really adds interest to the music is the percussion, which adds a rustic edge and works particularly well on the tracks with fewer instruments providing melody.

The sleeve notes, rather than being directly about the music or band, are an article on a 19th century fiddler from Keswick, William Irwin, instead.

All in all it's an interesting album, with a surprising number of familiar tunes, as well as the obvious unfamiliar ones, and it's all well played. However, that said, personally, I tend to prefer folk with more of a contemporary edge to it then this, so I've not got very into this album in general.

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