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Robin & Steve

 

MIDNIGHT HOWL

Classical Guitar, September 1997

The last time I reviewed a Robin Bullock CD, I somehow incurred the wrath of at least one "real ale" enthusiast, so I'd better get straight down to the music before someone else has me over a barrel (a wooden one made from real trees, of course).

Robin Bullock is a multi-faceted folk instrumentalist who majors on guitar, mandolin and cittern. To say he's good at what he does is an understatement; the performances on this superbly-recorded CD are without doubt the work of a musician whose technical skill and stylistic expertise are second to none. A small team of excellent supporting players makes the occasional appearance, but most of the intricately-woven instrumental lines are seamless overdubs of the man himself - a scenario which will not go down well with those who still believe folk music should be recorded in a log cabin using a battery-powered portable ("there ain't no mains supply in these parts, boy...")

For the rest of us, Midnight Howl is a gem. The opening "John MacKenzie's Fancy" sets the scene for an intoxicating menu comprising everything from the most gorgeous "Carrickfergus" ever captured on record to the utterly compelling "Rascal's Castle" - a Bullock original par excellence.

Another triumph for Robin Bullock and a worthy addition to the catalog of Maggie's Music Inc. which also boasts the outstanding fiddle recordings of Bonnie Rideout.

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