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JULIAN SUTTON Melodeon Crimes

Melodeon Crimes
Resilient Records RES004

Julian is a product of the fabled Folk Music Degree course at Newcastle University. That his ability and musicality benefited from his studies can be in no doubt. It shines through from the beginning of the first track to the end of the last. Most of the tunes are Julian's original compositions or traditional tunes given a sometimes rather quirky Sutton 'makeover'. He is joined on this album by a number of fine 'sidemen', or maybe that should be 'sidepersons' as prominent in the list are Kathryn Tickell (who produced as well) and Rachel Unthank.

For all the arrangement and virtuosity it still remains essentially a Melodeon album. It has taken up semi permanent residence in my CD player for the last couple of weeks and I confess I have enjoyed it very much. I say 'confess' because I freely admit to being one who sometimes groans inwardly when the 'boxes' start coming out in festival sessions. Julian's playing, however, has a light touch and he has an ear for an unusual melody. He also has the rare quality of being able to do a creditable job as an accompanist when another good player steps forward to do their stuff.

Thankfully for you all, I do not play Melodeon, but I suspect that these tunes are not the easiest to play. Have a listen to 'Winding Sideways' which title Julian attributes to 'watching the facial expressions of various musician friends as they were trying to get to grips with the tune'. Such ability and talent in one so young is bordering on the disgraceful!

Phil Thomas

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This album was reviewed in Issue 68 of The Living Tradition magazine.