Albireo | Northern Cross

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Folk: British Folk Folk: Traditional Folk Moods: Instrumental
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Northern Cross

by Albireo

Lively traditional English-style dance music from one of North West England’s most popular and versatile ceilidh bands. Guitar, bass and piano underpin melodies played on melodeon, concertina, dulcimer and mandolin, while the fiddle goes wild!
Genre: Folk: British Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. The Brazilian (Roseira do Norte)
2:58 $0.99
2. Kempshott Hunt
4:59 $0.99
3. The Railway/Rogues March
3:57 $0.99
4. Gathering Peascods
3:09 $0.99
5. Morning Star/Three Jolly Sheepskins
3:34 $0.99
6. Hudscales/Cat's Cradle/Treacle Town
3:25 $0.99
7. The Hole in the Wall
3:00 $0.99
8. Arkansas Traveller/Bill Cheatham's Reel/The Kitchen Girl
3:53 $0.99
9. Gypsy's Hornpipe/Gloucester Hornpipe
5:01 $0.99
10. The Gallery/The Venus of Levenshulme
3:42 $0.99
11. Alfaz del Pi
3:14 $0.99
12. Graemsay Jig/The Star above the Garter
3:15 $0.99
13. Elzic's Farewell
3:07 $0.99
14. Weavers March
3:17 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Albireo have established themselves as one of the most popular ceilidh bands in North West England. Based in Macclesfield and Manchester, they play regularly throughout the North West and further afield. The play in an English style, but their material comes from all over the British Isles, Europe, and the Americas, as well as tunes composed by various members of the band.

Albireo are:

Tom Kitching Fiddle, mandolin
Howard Jones Melodeon, Anglo concertinas, hammered dulcimer, recorder
Steve Hodgskiss Piano, English concertina
Peter Crowther Bass, keyboard
Sean Bechhofer Guitar

Recorded in September 2010 at Talking Cat Recordings. Engineered and mastered by Forbes Legato and Jon Loomes.

Star maps from John Flamsteed's Atlas coelestis, 1729 by permission of Linda Hall Library of Science, Engineering and Technology

Cover design Sarah Crowther.

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Some reviews of "Northern Cross"

"Grabs you by the ears in no uncertain way… a glorious sound. The tracks are beautifully contrasted throughout. Different rhythms, different instrumentation – there is so much variety in this CD that you won’t get tired of playing it." English Dance & Song magazine

"A very entertaining CD; it has the variety to make it a real pleasure to listen to. Well worth adding to your collection." Shreds & Patches magazine

"They produce an overall sound which very clearly retains its English roots, but at the same time is fresh, gutsy and attention-grabbing." Living Tradition magazine

Track listing:

The Brazilian (Roseira do Norte)
(Rose of the North) by Pedro Sertanejo and Zé Gonzaga. From NE Brazil,
a type of music known as forró (until we got our hands on it). Tom got this
tune from piano accordionist Sam Pirt.

Kempshott Hunt
Tom learned this from a fiddle book by Pete Cooper. Careful pronunciation
a must.

The Railway / Rogues March
Howard brought this set from the Electropathics. .Rogues March was supposedly played when soldiers were marched up to be 'disciplined' ie flogged.

Gathering Peascods
A trip to Playford's Dancing Master. The nice lady at Wilmslow Guild referred to this as 'Gathering Codpieces'.

Morning Star / Three Jolly Sheepskins
Two lumpy English 16-bar hornpipes. Morning Star appears in numerous collections. Sheepskins comes from the playing of Shropshire fiddler John Locke, via John Kirkpatrick.

Hudscales / Cat’s Cradle / Treacle Town
Hudscales is farm cottage near Hesket Newmarket in the Lake District, where Steve was doodling on the piano and this reel popped out.
Cat’s Cradle is one of Steve’s many tunes written in honour of his cat, Walt.
Macclesfield became known as Treacle Town after an event over a hundred years ago when a treacle wagon overturned on Hibel Road. The poor people rushed out of their cottages and scooped the treacle up from the cobbles.

The Hole in the Wall
A 3/2 hornpipe written by Henry Purcell (1659-1695) and published in the 1698 edition of Playford's Dancing Master.

Arkansas Traveller / Bill Cheatham's Reel / The Kitchen Girl
Three classic American reels. We call them "the bangy ones" - you'll see why.

Gypsy’s Hornpipe / Gloucester Hornpipe
Gypsy's comes from the Thomas Hardy collection. Gloucester is the less well-known version from the Gloucestershire fiddler Charles Baldwin. Another set borrowed from the Electropathics.

The Gallery / The Venus of Levenshulme
Peter remembers the band practice for a student band in about 1990 when Simon Heywood brought in two tunes he'd composed - The Venus of Levenshulme had taken second place in a tune competition run by Blowzabella, and Simon had written The Gallery to celebrate.

Alfaz del Pi
Steve named this waltz after a small town near Benidorm where he often stays on holiday.

Graemsay Jig / The Star Above the Garter
Howard learned Graemsay Jig from the playing of Colin Cater. The Star Above the Garter was made popular by Kerry fiddlers Denis Murphy and Julia Clifford. Despite its Irish origins it adapts well to a more rumbustuous English style of playing.

Elzic’s Farewell
How tunes can travel! Tom learned this old-time American tune during a visit to China, from the playing of Welsh fiddler Christine Cooper.

Weavers March
Howard learned this from the playing of melodeon maestro Tony Hall.



to write a review

English Dance and Song magazine

Albireo "Northern Cross"
“Grabs you by the ears in no uncertain way… a glorious sound.

The tracks are beautifully contrasted throughout. Different rhythms, different instrumentation – there is so much variety in this CD that you won’t get tired of playing it”