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PETER CROFT - Button Box Breakdown 

PETER CROFT - Button Box Breakdown 
Private Label AWC2071916 

The subtitle of this CD is Old Time Music On The Cajun Accordion – which is not actually such an incongruous concept. It makes for an eminently listenable half-hour of genial musical fun that encompasses choice fiddle reels from the old-time and bluegrass repertoires, waltzes, a two-step, and a cheeky transposition of Bob Wills’ New Oklahoma Rag, whose syncopations provided much of the inspiration for Peter’s own composition that forms this CD’s title. Peter’s second composition here is Caterpillar Valley, a tribute to his grandfather that morphs gleefully into Speed The Plough.

Peter’s background took him from a healthy early appreciation of the New Lost City Ramblers and consequent exploration of original sources, on to playing traditional music in Suffolk (inspired by Tony Hall), then visiting the Galax (Virginia) Fiddlers’ Convention armed with melodeon and, shortly after, discovering the Cajun accordion. And now, over 45 years on, Peter has, with this CD, finally realised his ambition to put on record some of his experiments to “box” old-time music, in particular the fiddle tunes. On this disc Peter is joined by two musicians whom he’d met when moving to Cambridge in 1988 – Mark Jones (guitar) and Hazel Fairbairn (fiddle/viola), both of whom have since moved away but fortunately were able to take part in the album sessions. Mark’s fluid and deceptively effortless flatpicking appears on eight of the 11 tracks (including solo piece Done Gone), Hazel’s tasty and idiomatic fiddling on five (including the solo Creole Blues).

Nicely presented, with good booklet notes, this CD delivers an entertaining and diverting programme.

David Kidman


This review appeared in Issue 134 of The Living Tradition magazine