Saturday, June 25, 2016
Dave Swarbrick - Raison D'Etre (2010 England) @vbr-0 217
Recorded between 2002 and 2010, some in Canada, most at Atrax, Coventry;
Engineered by Dave Swarbrick;
Mix down engineer Kevin Dempsey;
Track 10 mixed by Andy Thompson at Gighouse Studios, Leamington Spa;
Mastered by Andy Thompson at Gighouse Studios;
Sleeve design: Bryan Ledgard;
Cover photo: Tracy Kolenchuk
Dave Swarbrick, fiddle [1-3, 5-11], baritone violin [4, 8, 10], mandolin [5-6];
The Jason Wilson Band ;
Beryl Marriott, piano [2, 11];
Kevin Dempsey, guitar [2, 4-9, 11];
Maartin Allcock, bass guitar [2, 11];
Simon Mayor, mandolin, mandocello ;
Michael Burnham, violin ;
Jude Rees, oboe [8, 10], recorder, shawm, curtal ;
Martin Carthy, guitar ;
John Kirkpatrick, button accordion ;
Roger Marriott, melodeon;
Alan Robertson, piano, accordion
Simon Nicol, acoustic guitar, bass;
Dave Pegg, bass;
Bruce Rowland, drums, tambourine
From Dave Swarbrick:
"With 14 of the best players I know, I offer you"Raison D'être'. It has taken all of 8 years for me to complete this CD and I don't think it can be repeated.
There are 4 EFDSS 'Gold Badge' holders involved, the highest accolade of the English Folk Song and Dance Society: Beryl Marriott, Martin Carthy, John Kirkpatrick and myself have all had the honour of being awarded it.
The opening track of my very first solo album 'Rags, Reels and Airs': 'Spanish Ladies Medley', has been revisited with The Jason Wilson Band, a group of highly talented Canadian musicians. I have researched and arranged English music previously unrecorded from 1680 to 1745. And then to ice the cake along with a couple of my own compositions there are two tracks featuring the glorious playing of the great Beryl Marriott.
Living Tradition review:
Eight years in the making, four EFFDSS ‘Gold Badge’ award winners involved, previously unrecorded English music from the end of the seventeenth century and the first half of the eighteenth as well as a couple of self-penned tunes, together with a reworking of the opening track from Dave Swarbrick’s first ever album, are the basic ingredients of Dave Swarbrick’s latest masterpiece.
If it wasn’t for his stunning ability then this could quite easily have been a disaster. Many have delved into early historical periods, to find unpublished tunes, surrounded themselves with master musicians only to find the project less than satisfying. But he pulls it off in true Swarbrick style.
The CD opens with a set of tunes he used to play many years ago in the Beryl Marriott Ceilidh Band - the same Beryl Marriott who features on a couple of tracks here. This time Spanish Ladies has been reworked and Dave is joined by Canadian Jason Wilson and his band. The effect is still one of a Scottish dance night though.
As you would expect, the tunes researched from the works of Playford, Bunting Wright and Walsh need careful listening and demand your attention. Featuring Martin Carthy and John Kirkpatrick, the set starting with A Jigg Called Long Time from the Daniel Wright Collection is certainly one of the most ambitious. This gives way to the startling piano introduction provided by the aforementioned Beryl Marriott to the final track, We Brought the Summer With Us, which features Dave Swarbrick’ s playing at its best. A truly stunning end to a brilliant CD.
But it is one of Dave’s own tunes that is the truly outstanding track on Raison D’être. On Andy’s Waltz, Dave plays the Baritone Violin and comes up with one of the richest sounds you will ever hear. When the powers that be start compiling those nominations for those awards then this track should be there for Best Original Tune - it’s that good. In fact the CD is that good too.
We are blessed in the folk world with many good fiddle players. Some go on to become very good. Some even become great. Only a few go on to be a master of their instrument. Dave Swarbrick shows on Raison D’être just why he is one of that select few. Highly recommended.
1. Spanish Ladies / Geese on the Bog / Leather Away the Wattle-oh / Freedom for Ireland (5.38)
2. The Fair Haired Child (4.08)
3. Granny's Delight / The Man Tiger (3.33)
4. Andy's Waltz (3.18)
5. Buttock Beef / The Rising Sun / The Northern Frisk (4.31)
6. Ravenscroft's Fancy (2.32)
7. Sweet Alban (4.38)
8. Carpenters Morris / Frank and Easie / Easter Thursday / Mrs Savage's Whim (3.31)
9. Thomas and Sally (2.41)
10. A Jigg Called Long Time / Running Footman's Jig / The Brown Joak (4.31)
11. We Brought the Summer With Us (3.45)
Track 1 trad. arr. Dave Swarbrick, Jason Wilson;
Tracks 2, 11 trad. arr. Beryl Marriott;
Track 3 trad. arr. Dave Swarbrick, Simon Mayor;
Tracks 4, 7 Dave Swarbrick;
Tracks 5, 8, 10 trad. arr. Dave Swarbrick;
Tracks 6, 9 trad. arr. Dave Swarbrick, Kevin Dempsey;