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BLUE MOON BAND "Border Directors" Laidley Worm Music WORM004

Just so's you know what to expect, it's subtitled "continuing the Northumbrian tradition", and that's as good s summary as you could get. Mind you, it's as well to remember that not all of the aforesaid tradition consists of blistering 9/8 slip jigs or reedy laments for distant battles.

This CD has a fine mixture - jigs, reels, hornpipes, slow airs, rants, songs - they're all in there, plus a few more.

The band is made up of John Bibby, bass, guitars and keyboard; Kim Bibby-Wilson, accordion, vocal, keyboard, harp, Northumbrian smallpipes, tambourine, and bass; Chris Ormiston, Northumbrian smallpipes, and flute; Derek Poxton, guitars and mandola; Matt Seattle, fiddle, border pipes, mandolin and guitar. With that range to choose from, there is a real blend of textures which are immediately Northumbrian, and also varied.

The sets of tunes chosen give a canny combination of traditional and modern, many composed by band members, all adding up to a very listenable collection in general, although I felt the arrangements on "At Home Wad I Be" just a touch cluttered and overpowering the voice, but that's a minor point. I'd like to hear the Blue Moon Band live at a ceilidh, as they're obviously at home with their music and that's what really comes across live.

Gordon Potter

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This album was reviewed in Issue 33 of The Living Tradition magazine.