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Review of Kathryn Tickell Band CD

By Julius Timmerman
Posted Saturday, September 15, 2007

If you thought Northumbrian pipes might have been limiting in terms of recording an album, you’ll think again when you hear this joyous atmospheric album. Kathryn Tickell, pipe player extraordinaire from Northumberland, has assembled a fine band and the varied creative arrangements here bring plenty of delightful twists and turns with never a dull moment.

Her hugely talented band includes Ian Stephenson on guitar and melodeon, Julian Sutton on melodeon and piano, Peter Tickell on fiddle and piano, and there’s a few guest musicians on clarinet, bass, percussion and even a South American charango.

This album is brimming with fine tunes new and old, either in medleys or by themselves, most being penned by Kathryn, members of her band or acquaintances. Overall there’s a contemporary feel with a solid traditional base, so one could call the album a collection of NOTs - “new old tunes”. But they’re not just played by Kathryn with a backing band. Clearly each member of the band has been allowed creative input into the production, and coupled with the supreme cohesiveness of the band, the superb musicianship flowers without restraint. Each inventive track is a different journey so that at the end of the album one feels musically very satisfied, having traversed a large musical landscape. Thoroughly individual, thoroughly delightful.

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