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Sunday, 10 October 2010

Simon Thoumire and Ian Carr, Hootz

Black Crow (CRO 225, 1990)

This is the 1990 debut album by Thoumire and Carr, now mainstays of the UK folk scene and a duo who paved the way for a vibrant new generation of traditional musicians. Simon Thoumire (a Scotsman who brilliantly plays English concertina!) won the BBC Radio 2 Young Tradition Folk Award in 1989. He brings a jazziness and humour to his performance that sits incredibly well alongside a deep understanding of the traditions from which the music hails. Ian Carr is rightly one of the country’s most in-demand virtuoso guitarists, with a wonderful feel for syncopation and harmony. He has toured with the likes of Eddi Reader and John McCusker, was a lynchpin of the Old Rope String Band, and was a key component of Kate Rusby’s group as she stretched beyond the folk clubs and into mainstream TV and broadsheet recognition. This album is, as you’d expect from two young talents on their first vinyl outing, full of energy, vibrancy, and experimentation. More traditional fare such as “The Mason’s Apron”, “Old Hag You Have Killed Me” and “Master Crowley’s” sit alongside unexpected gems such as “St Louis Blues” and even that well-known English concertina piece (NOT!) “Lullaby of Birdland”.

A rare opportunity to hear two young musicians at the top of their game, but with their careers ahead of them.

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