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MAD PUDDING - "Rattle on the Stovepipe" - Iona Records IRCD055

The third (I believe) album from Vancouver based Mad Pudding, following on the success of "Bruce's Vegetable Garden" and "Dirt and Stone" (The first album with Iona). Mostly the same personnel as Dirt and Stone, but with a change of bass player - Richard Ernst being replaced by Boris Favre. (Who also adds "feet" to the line up and extends the song writing capabilities of Andy Hillhouse and Amy Stephen).

This latest release sees a move away from the heavily Celtic influenced material of the past releases, and into more Canadian and French Canadian influenced music - although some of the Celtic tunes are still here and sit easily with the newer songs and tunes - still having the Mad Pudding swing feel to them.

Opening with the funky title track "Rattle on the Stovepipe", followed by a set of old-time reels and into a song celebrating Beaujolais wine (written by the fore-mentioned Boris Favre), the album is characterised by its superb playing from all concerned. The guitar/fiddle/accordion combination is always effective, underpinned by drums and bass. What follows is more of the same - well-crafted songs, although at times a little over-produced, as the lyrics are strong enough to stand a barer treatment, and some fine tunes. This minor quibble aside, this is an excellent album and shows why Mad Pudding are fast becoming a favourite of the festival circuit in Britain.

John F. Weatherby

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This album was reviewed in Issue 26 of The Living Tradition magazine.