The Beast in the Box
Sometimes it the simplicity that makes a record shine, and this is certainly the case here. Peter's plays the melodeon and concertina like they were attached at birth, rolling off casual phrases and complex melodic tricks with ease and style. The concentration on this record is on tunes from northern England, played solo and with a small ensemble that includes fiddle (Nancy Kerr and Dave Pope), guitars (Peters and Bonz), flutes (Gordon Tyrrall) and dulcimer (Jenny Coxon) and a smattering of keyboards (Peters and Dave Smutte), all very much in service of the squeeze boxes. Listen to a bit of Peter's original but very British "Spiral Staircase," in a medley with "The Squall". They do a couple of American folk songs including a wonderful "New Railroad," sung efficiently by Peters and full of driving good rhythms.
Perhaps the star of the set is a medley of Danish and Swedish tunes, "Højby Schottische/Mats Edén's Schottishe." (Possibly this is due to my own well-known musical passions?) These just roll along so nicely, tipping a hat to tradition on moment, finding a bit of a country and jazz swing in the next moment. Peter's is a pro, a well seasoned player who can find these subtle effortless touches and make them shine through. It's a friendly beast in that box! - CF
This Beast and many other brian peters Cds are available at cdRoots