|Dimensions||22 × 16 × .50 cm|
Fiddlers Feast is a deliciously extravagant smorgasbord of Australian music. Described as “a powerhouse of Australian Celtic music that flies down bush tracks, over blue mountains and zips down the city highways”; “Fiddlers Feast tears through a typically bizarre and eclectic mix of jazz, folk, gypsy, country and rock”; “Rollicking fun, with plenty of fiddles, and a tight rhythm section playing with precision and power”.
Their new album Caravan is superbly crafted, brilliantly performed and energy-packed Album that captures everything that makes Fiddlers Feast such a special group. “The Musicianship is absolutely stunning, there is a delicious underlying sense of humour and the arrangements are thoughtful as well as musically challenging.” (Ian Dearden, Trad & Now)
Fiddlers Feast is Australia’s premier Celtic music group, highly inventive, highly charged, and always up for a new musical challenge! Boldly splitting genres that no one has split before, Fiddler’s Feast play music that is difficult to box but above all, it is a music that possesses great fun, vitality and an Australian perspective. “Take a bunch of crazy fiddlers, add in some of the best musicians in the country, and you’ve got a recipe for – well, a musical feast.” (Susan Jarvis, Capital News)
Formed from an impromptu jam in 1996 by Marcus Holden, also well known for his role in establishing the National Fiddle Festival, the FF has performed and recorded with countless Oz music luminaries, including Diesel, Jimmy Barnes, the Bushwackers, Tim Finn, Graeme Connors, Jimmy Little, John Williamson and every major symphony orchestra in the country.
“Fiddlers Feast is the perfect festival band” (Blue Mountains Folk Festival) playing all the big Australian festivals including the National Folk Festival, Port Fairy Folk Festival and Woodford. In addition they host their own concert series at the annual Country Music Festival in Tamworth. They have toured Europe and Asia including France, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and most recently for the Oz High Commission in Pakistan.
“If you could have only one live band on your desert island, then choose Fiddler’s Feast. They are rollicking fun, with plenty of fiddles, and a tight rhythm section playing with precision and power.” (Limelight Magazine)
CD review by Ian Dearden
Let’s not beat around the bush with this review.
Fiddler’s Feast is a vehicle to showcase the amazing talents of the extraordinarily gifted fiddler and multiinstrumentalist, Marcus Holden.
And it does so in spades.
Get a load of this – on this album, Marcus plays violin, viola, baritone violaectra, chincello, 5 string violin, mandolin, electric mandolin, tenor guitar, cittern, acoustic guitar, and a no.9 wood saw (with a violin bow).
Much of the time, thanks to the miracle of modern multi-tracking, Marcus is playing a number of these different instruments simultaneously, and/or multiple layers of those instruments.
And he does so with extraordinary versatility, virtuosity and damn good taste.
He plays fast, he plays slow, he lays down lush and seductive soundscapes, then stuns with a single, exquisite fiddle line.
With a core backing group of Rodney Ford on drums, Garry Steel on piano, Fender Rhodes on accordion, John Coker on electric bass and Stamatis Valacos on double bass (plus a range of guests on individual songs) providing a solid platform, the focus is (primarily) on those stunning instrumental skills of Marcus on the various instruments in his arsenal.
He gets to stretch out over a wide range of musical genres.
From the opening Fats Domino track, ‘I’m Walkin’ featuring vocals from drummer Rodney Ford, through a high speed Mozart romp (‘Rondo Alla Turca’), to a set of traditional tunes (‘Angeline the Baker/ Marian’s Reel/King of the Fairies), Dave Brubeck’s ‘Blue Rondo Alla Turk’, to an instrumental reading of the Easybeats ‘Friday on my Mind’, winding up with a delicious parody of ‘The Devil Went Down to Georgia’, retitled ‘The Devil Went Down To Tamworth’, this is literally a whirlwind of an album!
My own personal favourites on this album (not an easy pick, given how marvellous all the tracks are) include the Marcus Holden original (New Age-ish) tune ‘Moon on the Lake’, the weirdly wonderful saw playing on the traditional ‘Aura Lee’, and Django Reinhardt’s ‘Swing 48’.
Deliciously and wildly eclectic, with everything from traditional, blues, jazz, swing and a touch of the old rock and roll, this is an album you just can’t stop playing.
5 in stock (can be backordered)