Lea Nicholson
The Concertina Record
Jamring.com (www.jamring.com)
(Originally released by Kicking Mule, 1980)

cd cover By the early 1970s, after the release of his album "Horsemusic," Lea Nicholson had established himself on the British folk music scene. He was a singer and concertina player, but he experimented outside of the genres usually associated with his instrument. The Concertina Record contains eight selections that take the English concertina places it has not been before, and usually it agrees to come along peacefully. It was recorded over a five year period in the late 1970s, with help from people like Robin Dransfield, Russ Ballard, Mike Oldfield and Rod Argent.

The CD opens with "The Liberty Bell," known by many as the theme song for the Monty Python series (and Nicholson's version was used on one of their more recent specials). Other tracks include "Kopya," a Yugoslav dance tune, a medley of Glenn Miller pieces, a Scottish tune "Lea Rigs" and a hymn "All Creatures of Our God and King." An arrangement of Bach's "4th Brandenburg Concerto," played almost entirely on concertinas, started off as a drunken bet. Such items are usually best forgotten, but not this time. This is a master stroke. Through the variety and quirky nature of some of the pieces, one sometimes forgets the considerable skill of Nicholson on the concertina. The Concertina Record is not simply some kind of novelty act, but an honest attempt to expand the potential of the instrument. - Ivan Emke

Audio © 1999 jamring.com

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