Since winning the BBC Radio 2 Folk Musician of the Year award in 2008, Andy Cutting as been much in demand. As one of the UK’s best known Melodeon players, Andy is more known for his work with Blowzabella and his collaborations with English Fiddle player and singer Chris Wood, but he has also performed and recorded with some of the stalwarts of today’s folk scene as well as some more mainstream acts outside of the folk genre (Sting and The Who to name just two).
With such a busy schedule it’s great news that Andy has managed to find the time to get into the studio and record his first solo album. In this self-titled offering, he has presented us with a collection tunes that are both technically brilliant and for the most part joyously uplifting.
A good solid mix of both self-penned tunes and traditional offerings (with a sprinkling of collaborations with notable guest musicians Mike McGoldrick, Tim Harries and Ian Carr) means that this album is bound to be a fast-seller at this year’s folk festivals.
The opening two tracks of the album Uphill Way and Cuckoos Nest/Old Molly Oxford are both lovely, laid-back and easy-going tunes, and are the perfect way to ease the new listener (of which I class myself) into Andy’s music. Both are collaborations with Ian Carr and he has created the ideal accompaniment to Andy’s seemingly effortless playing.
The wonderful melodic double bass of Tim Harries on CeG lends the piece a mellow, jazz-like quality while on Still Hearing You/The Resplendent Jig it manages to transform the two tunes from being rather ordinary into something that you can imagine listening to while sipping coffee on a sun-drenched boulevard somewhere in Marseille.
For me, the stand-out tracks on the album have to be Charlie/Come Back!, Edges/Thin Waltz and Granton Fish Bowl. The first is a delightful, up-beat toe-tapper of a tune which, according to Andy’s humourous sleeve notes, is about an uncooperative springer spaniel, while the second is another collaboration with Carr where his melodic guitar rhythms enables
Andy’s melodeon to skip lightly across these two sublime waltzes. The third tune, Granton Fish Bowl , returns the album to a much more traditional Folky sound, and conjures up images of Morris Men strutting their stuff on a village green on a Saturday afternoon.
As a relative newcomer to the Folk Music genre, I must confess that on first hearing the album I found it a bit of a challenge to listen too but, on further listens it has just grown and grown on me. Having always enjoyed the sound of a melodeon, Andy’s debut solo album has opened up a whole new area of folk music for me to discover.Louise Parmakis
Released in August 2010. Available as a website only exclusive from www.andy-cutting.co.uk from May 2010.
1. Uphill Way
2. Cuckoo’s Nest/Old Molly Oxford
5. Charlie/Come Back!
6. Edges/Thin Waltz
7. Still Hearing You/The Resplendent Jig
8. Granton Fish Bowl
9. Covered in People
11. Old Light
12. The Abbess