Brian Peters' Anglo concertina CD - World Music, English Roots Music
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cd cover Brian Peters
Pugwash Music

The "Anglo" in the title refers to the Anglo-concertina wielded by Peters on this solid, if sometimes unimaginative recording. Peters plays a 100-year-old concertina that is differentiated from the English version of the same by being smaller and having fewer buttons (and thus is limited in the number of keys one can play on it). Peters has chosen a selection of English country dance music, songs, and rags that show his crisp, clean technique.
He accompanies himself on guitar on a couple of tracks and Paul Weller joins him on English concertina on a couple of others. The skippy, reedy sound of the Anglo is similar in flavor to the harmonica, and though limited in scope, is capable of a similar range of styles. Peters generally chooses well in showing off this range. A minor-key air, "The Northern Lass," is simple and simply touching. Even his quirky version of the Beatlesí "Things We Said Today" works in a weird sort of way. He handles the American idiom of the rag well on two tracks, but his choice of "The Entertainer" as one of them is ill-advised. Joplinís over-played opus doesnít gain much in this version. Later in the disc, "Dallas Rag" is a more satisfying outing. Peters sings on a handful of tunes. His voice has that quintessential English pub singing timbre ≠ nasal and limited in range, but it works well for these songs. He wisely keeps the focus on the squeezebox for the most part. Fans of English country dance music and concertinas will find a lot to like on this disc. Others may find it a tad dull. - Peggy Latkovich

CD available from cdRoots

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