Fiddler Lewis Wood, mostly known for his work with Granny’s Attic, gives us a new bunch of exceptional tunes for the sadly neglected art of step and clog dancing. His debut solo release Footwork includes only self-penned compositions, recorded with the support of Alex Garden, the accompaniment of multi-instrumentalist Matt Quinn and the contribution of renowned dancers Lisa Sture and Simon and Joe Harmer.
The album reflects the truly astonishing variety of styles one can find throughout the country: from the very traditional sounding Kick Down the Door / Kairos to the modern Soup of the Night, from the Scandi-influenced waltz Above the Ground to the lively jigs Ten Things to do in August (pt. 1-3), the work provides a sample of the distinctive facets of this ancient and underrated tradition.
In tracks such as the opener The Third Wednesday and Trip to Middleton / Three Men on a Pink Stool it is possible not only to appreciate Wood’s composition talent, but also the dexterity of the dancers who help improve some of the details of the tunes. The sound of dancing and Quinn’s ability on a number of instruments forge a varied accompaniment that envelops and extolls Wood’s sensitive and precise playing that has become his trademark since his early work with Granny’s Attic.
Despite being conceived to promote step and clog dancing, Footwork can be appreciated also by traditional music aficionados regardless of their interest in dance, and this is thanks to the fiddlers’ ability in crafting great compositions, many of which will probably become firm favourites in the folk repertoire.Michele Mele
Released by Hrimdon Records on 24 June 2022, engineered and mastered by Alex Garden
1. The Third Wednesday
2. Mel’s Hornpipe
3. Ten Things to do in August (pt. 1-3)
4. Trip to Middleton / Three Men on a Pink Stool
5. Maybe / Above the Ground
6. The Appreciated Violin
7. Pakefield Polka
8. The Suspension of Disbelief
9. Soup of the Night
10. Kick Down the Doors / Kairos