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THE SANDY BRECHIN TRIO - Polecats And Dead Cats  

THE SANDY BRECHIN TRIO - Polecats And Dead Cats  
Brechin All Records CDBAR037  

Scotland's scariest accordionist teams up with two Swedes (no Burns supper jokes please) for an unusual but strangely satisfying album! Jimmy Johansson (seriously) is a fiddler split between Swedish and Scottish music. Chris A Bång is a master of many instruments and styles, but here he plays upright bass. This trio met and recorded in Torsåker, eastern Sweden: their repertoire is mainly compositions by Brechin or Johansson, plus arrangements of traditional music from the Swedish and Scottish/Irish traditions and, of course, a Penguin Café Orchestra standard - what else?

A quick skim through the tune titles shows that Sandy and Jimmy have more in common than you might expect. Johansson's The Belly-Bumper is matched by Brechin's Your Drunken Fumbling Fingers, his Tic Slayer vies with A Jumble Of Polecats, while the similarities between The Laplandic Fire and Brechin Wind are best left to the imagination. Some of Sandy's tunes have featured on his previous albums - the cheery jig, Pete Brady's Chubby Cheeks, the charming Admiral On The Bow, the rollicking Tasmanian Devil - but much here is new, and certainly all Jimmy's compositions are new to me. The Fish-Whacking Waltz is lovely, The Twiddler is a catchy reel/polka, and Lament For Kenny's Dead Cat at least explains the album title. This CD is well worth a listen, for many reasons. 

Alex Monaghan


This review appeared in Issue 130 of The Living Tradition magazine