Craig Duncan is an active Nashville musician fluid in both country and classical styles. He began his study of the violin when he was eight and went on to garner a Bachelor of Music degree from Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. Craig's performance experience includes the Grand Ole Opry, the Porter Wagoner Show, and TV specials with various country and bluegrass artists. Craig has been the featured instrumentalist on over fifty record albums, with sales in excess of three million. He is a member of the National Fiddler's Hall of Fame and Who's Who in Music and Musicians and is recognized internationally for his numerous books and arrangements of fiddle music published by Mel Bay Publications, Inc. He has produced numerous recordings for the gift shop market in a variety of musical styles. As a hammered dulcimer player, he is known for his work on Green Hill's Country Mountain series as well as Brentwood Music's Smoky Mountain series. He is active in the Nashville music industry as an instrumentalist, contractor, producer and arranger. In addition to his performance activities, he is also Adjunct Professor of Fiddle at the Belmont School of Music in Nashville, Tennessee. He is actively involved in carrying on the tradition of American fiddling and is engaged in research, writing, and teaching in this field.
Eliza Carthy officially inherits the British folk crown from her parents with the willfully traditional Rough Music. Described in the liner notes as "a form of community punishment practiced all over England" (basically a public beating for a heinous social crime), Rough Music sounds like a lost pre-percussion Steeleye Span record filtered through A.L. Lloyd's whaling collection Leviathan! Carthy's strong fiddling and powerful vocals – she really is beginning to surpass Norma – are ably enhanced by the chiseled performance of her backing band, the Ratcatchers. Together they celebrate longstanding English traditions like public execution ("Turpin Hero"), syphilis ("The Unfortunate Lass"), and alcohol ("Tom Brown") with equal parts reverence, earnestness, and mischief. Primarily arranged for violin, viola, double bass, and melodeon, Rough Music also features lovely a cappella cuts like "Maid on the Shore" and enough fiery instrumentals to keep your feet on the cobblestones during the long walk home from the pub. In fact, there's not a moment on Rough Music that isn't essential listening. Highly recommended.
TOR LUNDVALLS NOTES: In September 2012, I received an e-mail from someone named John B. who said he had assembled a lengthy remix of my music, which also incorporated some of his own material. John asked if Id mind if he posted this recording on YouTube, to which I agreed. He also mentioned that there was a second part to his mix that was roughed out, but never completed. I was curious to hear both parts, so shortly afterwards, John mailed me two CDrs which I enjoyed very much. The recordings were hypnotic and haunting, evoking images of vast fields at twilight. I was especially fond of the second disc which had a darker atmosphere and featured more of Johns original material, beginning with ghostly clock chimes and ending with a mysterious piece using dried seed pods and other cryptic sounds that slowly built-up into an intense, almost claustrophobic environment.
Neo-prog band Pendragon formed in London during the heady days of punk, but didn't coalesce until 1983, when the band began playing around London and earned a small spot at that year's Reading Festival. The lineup stabilized, after the 1985 album Jewel, around vocalist/guitarist Nick Barrett, bassist Peter Gee, drummer Fudge Smith and keyboard player Clive Nolan. Pendragon recorded the live album 9:15 in 1986 and began to establish a continental fan base the following year. European audiences proved enthusiastic, spawning a contract with the French M.S.I. label; nevertheless, the group was forced to form its own Toff label just to release material in England.