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PREGO "Avarela" RME CD007

Prego are rooted firmly in the East Midlands of England and play new roots music - of Europe that is. The musicians come from a variety of backgrounds and combine to produce that high energy, big band sound which is so essential to this type of music.

The sound is based around Enzo's fine hurdy gurdy, Ian Smith's melodeons, various things you blow into and some good fiddle playing by Nigel Corbett. This is mixed with lots of things being shaken by Mark Veevers and some great bass from Andy Cooper. Prego draw their inspiration from Europe, but there is still an English feel at times - I think this is due to the melodeon. Some tunes are trad. arr. Prego whilst others are original, but to their credit it's difficult to spot the joins.

I've got to say they are not as adventurous as some of their European counterparts, but as their music is aimed more at the "home" market this is no bad thing. This is a good CD with plenty of variation of style and mood - brash hurdy gurdy then mellow fiddle, slow air then get up and dance.

As Prego are a large band they must aim at the festival scene, in fact I think they organised a local one last year. I don't think it will be long before they take their new roots music to a wider audience. They've got the product in "Avarela" which I highly recommend to any one with any interest in good European music. If they are on near you go and dance to them, and I bet they will sell you a CD or two.

Prego have produced a fine CD in "Avarela" - definitely worth having.

Dave Beeby

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This album was reviewed in Issue 28 of The Living Tradition magazine.