‘Drive Away Dull Care’ from Lowp - fine musicians producing a fine album(November 12, 2017)
Describing their material as: "... a mix of native and imported tradition", Lowp are unafraid to augment their repertoire with influences far and wide, from 18th century border and smallpipes, through Tyneside Irish whistle tunes and 19th century music hall to song to borrowing from Brittany and France. Add to that, a collection of self-penned tunes and songs, and interpretations of contemporary folk and you know what to expect from their debut album ‘Drive Away Dull Care’. And that’s exactly what happens with this album, any present cares will soon be sent packing, as accomplished musicianship takes you through an album that's well worth a serious listen.
They open proceedings with the cautionary narrative ‘The Merchant’s Son’ taken from the 16th century ‘A Collection of Old Ballads’, next up is a couple of jigs with the pipes in full flight, ‘Ellis Kelly’s Delight’ and the more familiar ‘Drops of Brandy’, from there it’s a short step to an excellent interpretation of the classic murder and revenge ballad ‘Long Lankin’. They let loose tongue-in cheek humour with the song ‘Tally i-o the Grinder’ coupled to the tune ‘Would the Minister Not Dance’, the foot stomping comes again with ‘Rusty Gully/ Duns Dings A’/ Wee Totum Fogg’ before a rendition of ‘Cuddle in me Darling’ bolted to ‘A Kerry Fling’ and to introduce the Brittany influence, there are drinking and dance tunes ’Ev Chistr’ta Laou/ An Dro/ Laridé’ ... fine musicians producing a fine album.
Lowp are Ben Hudson (guitar, bouzouki, vocals) Stephen Pratt (flute, whistles, bodhrán) Peter Brown (fiddle) Iain Gelston (boder, half-long and Northumbrian bagpipes, bouzouki) and David Harrison (mandolin, mandola).
Review: Tim Carroll