Martin Matthews | Autumn

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Folk: Celtic Folk Folk: British Folk Moods: Type: Instrumental
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by Martin Matthews

An eclectic mix of celtic instrumental tunes from tenor banjo player extraordinaire Martin Matthews featuring influences from India to Cork and beyond.
Genre: Folk: Celtic Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Dan's Hands/The Pipefitter's Jig/The Niagara/Convey's
5:32 $0.99
2. The Burnhope Bhangra/The Glass Fiddle
5:05 $0.99
3. La Maison Jaune
4:02 $0.99
4. Dr Cate Matthews'/Randy's Jig/O'Boyle's trip to Durham
5:10 $0.99
5. Aycliffe Richard's Waltz
3:25 $0.99
6. The White House Mazurka/The Lerwick Reel/Sully's No6/Rocks in your head
4:58 $0.99
7. The Gower Slip Jig/The Shannon Bumblebee
4:40 $0.99
8. Slow Steel/The Steel Reel/The Shooting Star/The Gluepot
5:57 $0.99
9. Maria's Waltz
4:09 $0.99
10. O'Hanlon's Crooked Road Reel
3:03 $0.99
11. The Unresolved Reel/Cunningham's of O'Hagan Drive
4:47 $0.99
12. The Toneneave/Colin Tom's/Julian's Jig
4:28 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
1. Dan’s Hands/The Pipefitters Jig/The Niagara/Convey's
Reel/Jigs. English/Irish
Caitriona's Fancy by Dan Hands already appears on the CD, "The Twilight Shift" by Steamradio the folk/rock outfit featuring myself on Fender Telecaster and Dan on fiddle along with Andy McLaughlin, Dave Pratt, Tony Martin and Steve Farrow. This Latin inspired rendition is a more acoustic version and features the wonderful Amanda Lewis on fiddle. Caitriona's reel is followed by The Pipefitters Jig, which also appears on "The Twilight Shift" and is followed by "The Niagara" which was written during Cuig's 2002 tour of USA & Canada. Convey's is named after my oldest friend (we started school together) and sometime hill walking and drinking companion, Brian Convey.

2. The Burnhope Bhangra/The Glass Fiddle
Reels...well, sort of!! Indian/English
The Burnhope Bhangra was inspired by the playing of Julian Sutton. Julian and I were members of the occasional band "The North Country Dance Band" and this Bollywood arrangement was written to compliment a particularly fiery lamb curry. I take the lead on Fender Stratocaster, and former neighbour and Feast of Fiddles fiddler, Tom Leary originally from Burnhope, County Durham is to be found chipping in with atmospheric drones while the main fiddle melody is carried by Dan Hands. During the Rub I composed the Stone Fiddle as a 48 bar jig with Paul Archer. I rewrote the melodic theme, put it into 4/4 time, and gave it a new title hence The Glass Fiddle.

3. La Maison Jaune
Musette Waltz. Anglo/French.
A nod to James Hill's Hornpipe composition and Django Reinhardt's swing jazz in one set!!
The tune title refers to a wonderful holiday spent with Donal, Kate and Maria at my cousin Eileen's house in Grimaud Village on the Golf de St Tropez, France. The melodic inspiration comes via the hornpipe "The Factory Smoke" by James Hill. Fellow Rub and Steel String Band member, sometime co composer and maker of my bouzouki and Selmer Style jazz guitars, Paul Archer, joins me on fiddle.

Dr Cate Matthew’s/Randy's Jig/O'Boyle's trip to Durham
Jigs. Irish.
The first jig is named for my daughter Cate. Whilst studying medicine at Sheffield University, the original title was to be "The Anticipation Jig" but the album has been so long in the making I've renamed it after her professional title.
Between 2000 and 2007 I had the pleasure of being principal banjo and mandolin tutor for the new Folk and Traditional Music Degree at Newcastle University. When my former student, Damian O'Kane, graduated in July 2005, he played a measured slow version of "Dr. Cate Matthews" in his finale concert. It was a lovely setting so I have tried to follow suit. Randy's is named after Cuig-tour-organiser, mate and piano player extraordinaire, Randy Andropolis, Sean added the Hammond organ in his honour. Dan Hands joins me in Randy's and the final tune, O’Boyle’s jig. This 48 bar jig is named for my sister in law, Carmel and her husband, Manus O’Boyle, after a recent visit from Ireland and a nostalgic trip to Durham Cathedral.

5. Aycliffe Richard's Waltz
The first part of Aycliffe was written by Paul Archer and started life as a Schottische. Re-cycling the melody as a waltz and completing it with a fresh B part, I think I have ended up with a tune which would not be out of place at a Sicilian wedding...any remake of The Godfather, Paul and I are listening to offers.

6. The White House Mazurka/The Lerwick Reel/Sully’s no6/Rocks in your Head
Mazurka/Reels. Irish.
Norman's tune is a little gem of melodic simplicity and leads into The Lerwick reel, which I wrote prior to playing Shetland Folk festival with THE RUB in 1989.
Former All Ireland banjo champion, composer of many tunes in the traditional style and supplier of my Bohee tenor banjo, Tony Sullivan wrote the oft-played tune, the No6. "Rocks" was so named after a comment by one time RUB member, Bob Fox, who declared "You must have rocks in your head", for composing this meandering Bb reel. Randy Andropolis accompanies the set on piano. I supplied chord suggestions and asked for a typical vamp piano style, which he thankfully supplied in spades.

7. The Gower Slip Jig/The Shannon Bumblebee
Slip Jigs. Irish.
The Gower was written after an enjoyable appearance by Cuig at Gower folk festival in 2001. The Shannon Bumblebee was written for Mary Shannon. I met Mary at a Sharon Shannon and the Woodchoppers gig in The Arc, Stockton on Tees with Norman Holmes, Geoff Hughes & Vin Garbutt. After the concert, which was epic, she was very complimentary about the original Champion String Band Album and admitted to borrowing a James Hill tune from it for a Bumblebees Album. I thought she could do with another, hence this Slip jig.

8. Slow Steel/The Steel Reel/The Shooting Star/The Gluepot
Reels. Irish.
The setting for these and many other compositions was originally aired at the long running Monday night session in the Colpitts Hotel, Durham. That session has now transferred to the Elm Tree a few hundred yards away.
Slow Steel is a stately, melancholic version of The Steel Reel. Steel, is the name given to the rural town land around Whitley Chapel near Hexham. Whitley Chapel is also the site of the workshop and home to the maker of some of my finest instruments, Stefan Sobell. Paul Archer wrote the second reel, The Shooting Star, which many rate as his finest tune to date. Paul, an all round Renaissance man as well as being one of my oldest friends is a prodigious fiddler, guitarist, luthier, band co-member and occasional co-composer. The Gluepot Reel is written by friend, Rub and Cuig member also occasional co- composer, brilliant flute player and flute maker, Norman Holmes. I have slightly altered the A part from the original, for which I ask Norman's forgiveness.

9. Maria's Waltz
Written for my wife, Maria. Apart from providing the original guide track and some accompaniment on guitar, I happily left the performing duties to Dan Hands and Champion String Band co-member Chuck Fleming on fiddles. Dan leads us into the waltz with the first phrase followed by Chuck, thereafter it's turn and turn about before they play in unison. Randy's piano playing is exactly what I requested with a very Shetland/Nashville take on a country waltz, and Sean completes the line up on bass.

10. O’Hanlon’s Crooked Road
Reel/Waltz. American Bluegrass.
This tune is named for my sister in law Kate, and husband Donal O’Hanlon, my Irish playing partner of many years. Donal and I along with Maria and Kate toured America and played "The Crooked Road" Appalachian bluegrass trail in the summer of 2007. This is my take on a reel with an old time/bluegrass feel, and the set concludes using the same melody in waltz time. I didn’t own a bottle-neck, so Sean’s tin whistle proved a useful substitute.

11. The Unresolved Reel/The Cunningham’s of O’Hagan Drive
Reels. Irish.
The first reel I found difficult to give a natural ending, hence The Unresolved.
I named the second reel for my sister Geraldine and her husband Pat & family who live in Toronto, Canada. I was fortunate to be able to persuade piano whiz and multi instrumentalist, Randy Andropolis to accompany during one of his visits from America to meet up with his daughter Christi, when she was a student on the Newcastle University Folk Music degree course. Amanda Lewis again joins me on fiddle.

12. The Toneneave/Colin Tom’s/Julian’s Jig
Schottische/Horo/Jig. Scots/Hungarian/English.
This is my attempt at a new genre for 21st century folk. Welcome to the Ethno Techno category. Toneneave or Tom & Dave as Bob Fox often announced it, was the name of the town land where my forbears lived and farmed in Magheracloone near Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan prior to emigration to England and America. The second tune was named for fiddler Tom Leary who has over the years chided and cajoled me into getting this album out. It has been written to compliment the double time accompaniment of the schottische and is meant to have a gypsy, eastern European flavour. The last tune I got from Julian and featured in the repertoire of both NCDB and Steamradio . Here Dan Hands and Tom share fiddling duties with Dan playing the melody along with myself on guitar and Tom muscling in with robust and exotic lead breaks on fiddle.

Autumn is an eclectic mix of tunes, which hopefully displays some of the styles of music that have influenced me over the years. It features some of the tunes and musicians that have appeared in the Champion String Band, the RUB, The O’Boyle Band, CUIG, the North Country Dance Band, the Steel String Band & STEAMRADIO, plus some of the regulars from the music sessions at the Colpitts Hotel and the Elm Tree Hotel, Durham. It is unfortunate that I couldn’t accommodate the many other musicians and friends who offered their musical assistance, but there is always the next time.



to write a review

Pete Fyfe

Martin Matthews - Autumn
For those not in the know, Martin Matthews in the early 80’s worked as part of the trio The Champion String Band alongside lengendary fiddler Chuck ‘Where’s My Teeth’ Fleming and vocalist Tom Gilfellon. He was also one of those astonishingly flamboyant master technicians of all things strings (mandolin/bouzouki/tenor banjo and guitar etc). Following on from the Champions, the ‘blink and you’d miss them’ The Rub (that also included Bob Fox and Ian Carr amongst their number) and Cuig some years later came and (unfortunately) went and I hadn’t heard much from Matthews Mansions until this recording landed on my doorstep. Cutting to the chase, this album represents over seven years of recording sessions painstakingly sewn together and now available for the first time as a selection worthy of any folk enthusiasts collection. To complete the sessions, over those intervening years he has been helped in the fiddle department by amongst others; Dan Hands, Paul Archer, (Feast Of Fiddles) Tom Leary and Amanda Lewis. Triplets were never a problem for this incredible musician and if there is space trust me Mr Matthews will fill the gap…not to be flash…but because it makes musical sense. From an observer’s point of view as a composer of tunes Matthews truly is inspired and with creations including the Bollywood styled “Burnhope Bhangra/Glass Fiddle” you need look no further for a finer selection of modern ‘folk’ tunes. Footnote: My brother Chris and I used to refere to Martin as ‘Martian’ Matthews as his interpretive skills of traditional tunes were ‘out of this world’ and if you want to know why, then I suggest you buy this album.