Friday, 14 January 2011


by Blowzabella

I was unaware of this English band until last week when I noticed Dance in the Saffron Walden library. As the title of the album suggests, this is dance music. The dances are: bourrée, hornpipe, jigs, mazurkas, schottisches, waltzes. How do I know: the liner notes give concise and informative descriptions of each track (and sometimes what the audience were doing during the recording, e.g. “The audience are dancing The 5 Hand Reel”). Yes, this is what one calls “folk”, but the band — accordion, bagpipes, bass guitar, clarinet, fiddle, hurdy-gurdy, saxophones and whistles — sounds like nothing else. The sax players, Jo Freya, Paul James and Jon Swayne, add a gentle jazzy feel throughout. You can listen to couple of tunes from this album, The Rose Of Raby and Il n’est plus temps / Famous Wolf, at the band’s MySpace page. The closing track, Blowzabella / Shave The Monkey / Boys Of The Mill, is a medley of three jigs, the first of which, of course, gave the band its name (back in 1978).


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