The Best Of Kathryn Tickell

By Kathryn Tickell

Two comments

The Best Of Kathryn Tickell

This is a recently released compilation culled from Kathryn’s work so far, most or all of which will be familiar to those who have followed her career as a Northumbrian piper and fiddler.

I *may* be wrong in the case of the odd track here, but as far as I can tell she fronts this compilation entirely on the Northumbrian pipes, so it is very much a showcase of this instrument, along with accompaniments provided by other players.

There are some gems on this, including her own tunes The Welcome Home and Brafferton Village - as good as any that ever came out of the Northumbrian tradition, I feel. There is Billy Pigg’s marvellous tour-de-force, Bill Charlton’s Fancy. The Rip-Off Pharaoh set is an exhilarating example of how great music can be made - rather than ruined - by all sorts of rhythmic subversion, by people who know what they’re doing. It bowls along like a stream.

Kathryn’s compositions seem to convey the essence of what they are called after. Side Echoes (pipes and sax) and Jamie’s Air/Jamie’s ( named after the piper/outlaw Jimmy Allen) evoke a kind of brooding menace - for me, at any rate - without this actually clogging up the music. Meanwhile “My Favourite Place” is, I believe, a straight repeat of overheard speech about growing up in the countryside. I found it extraordinarily evocative, having done that in part.

Not all the tracks do as much for me as some I’ve mentioned, but for anyone interested in the Northumbrian pipes and who has no room for, or can’t get, Kathryn’s other albums, this would be well worth having. Though to get the full measure of her musicianship, you’d want something with her fiddle-playing on it as well.

The Best Of Kathryn Tickell

OOPS - I was wrong about Kathryn playing no fiddle here - she does on the Rip-Off Pharaoh set, one I mentioned as being particularly good.