See what these publications have to say about Hartwell
Folk Roots, England
Victory Review Acoustic Music Review Magazine
POWERSSOUND The Worlds Magazine
Matt Fink; Internet Music Review
and multi-instrumentalists William Pint and Felicia Dale rank
among North America's most exciting interpreters of music based
in the traditions of the British Isles and France. They're both talented ballad singers
who can blend their voices in a powerful counterpoint and they
have a great ear for old and new material. The most distinctive
part of their sound is Dale's wailing hurdy-gurdy, which the
duo uses both as a lead instrument in dance tunes and as an unconventional but spine-tingling reinforcement on some of their songs.
Hartwell Horn finds Pint and Dale returning to
an all-acoustic sound following the amplified electric power
surge of 1997's Round the Corner, and while the arrangements are unplugged this
time their energy and sense of fun are undiminished.
is a fast-paced narrative of a well-intentioned Scottish outlaw
who meets the usual end, while "The Widow and the Devil"
is a clever R-rated tale of an amorous woman who wins a bedroom
bet with Satan. On "Sing Ho to the Greenwood," multi-tracked
voices are joined by hurdy-gurdy and whistle in an uplifting
choral round. Several of the vocal tracks are sung as unaccompanied
duets, like the jolly account of a pre-supermarket-era shopping
spree called "I Went to the Market to Buy a Cock,"
and "Johnny Sands," a lighthearted look at a seriously
dysfunctional marriage of a few centuries ago. Five of the 15
tracks on the disk are instrumental sets, featuring exhilarating Breton dance medleys, a rousing Playford
piece called "Rufty Tufty," and a unique and mesmerizing hurdy-gurdy arrangement of "She Moved Through
Tom Nelligan (Waltham, MA)
Dirty Linen #86 Feb./March 2000
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on a very eclectic and disparate group of songs and musical traditions,
William Pint and Felicia Dale have crafted another set of great
traditional tunes. Employing instruments such as an octave mandolin
and a hurdy-gurdy, Pint and Dale are able to give special color
to their renditions of dance tunes like "Rufty Tufty"
and "Two an Dros in G." Spirited a cappella tunes like
" 'Twas in the Pleasant Month of May" and the satirical
"Johnny Sands" allow the duo ample space to utilize
their excellent harmony singing, as well.
The bawdy "The
Widow and the Devil" is a fine variation on classic Faustian
themes, while the lighthearted "I Went to the Market to
Buy a Cock" is sure to be a favorite of small children.
Academic, studied, educational, and, most importantly, highly
enjoyable folk music of this order shouldn't be missed. "
Internet Music Review
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sea-song and seasonal CDs, the Seattle-based duo now return for
their sixth release with a collection of mainly English songs
interspersed with typically high-energy versions of dance tunes,
most taken form Breton sources. As before, the duo's sound is
dominated (though not exclusively) by Felicia's wonderfully dynamic hurdy-gurdy playing, with whistles and William's robust octave mandolin or guitar well to the fore. The instrumental
tracks include a coupling of She Moved Through the
Fair with a Breton An Dro; elsewhere, the boisterous
Simon the King is aptly paired with an Irish slip-jig.
The songs give a refreshing
and generally convincing spin on some old favorites, in the characteristically upfront and
persuasive Pint & Dale manner. I specially liked their lively take on The White
Cockade, which is performed unaccompanied, as is Johnny
Sands (which they admit to having learnt from Martin Carthy).
I reckon the duo has been
digging out the old Watersons albums too - this CD contains a
vigorous rendering of Dido, Bendigo which is here linked
to a hybrid Reynard the Fox, and is barking mad in a gloriously silly way (though perhaps the farmyard impressions
on I Went to Market do get a bit out of hand!). There's
also a spirited version of Mick Ryan's Widow and the Devil,
which is enhanced by Tania Opland's violin. And A Lover and
his Lass (which I usually find insufferably twee) scores
a minor rehabilitation for me in the Pint & Dale version.
Unless you've a deep-rooted
allergy to the hurdy-gurdy, this
is a winner of a CD - vital, fresh and highly addictive."
Folk Roots Magazine, England
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Hartwell Horn , (Waterbug 0048).
Pint and Felicia Dale return to the land and spiral back in history
with their newest release. Most of the tunes and songs come from
England and the Celtic lands with delightful nods to the Copper
Family, the Watersons, Martin Carthy and even William Shakespeare.
Spirited vocals, hurdy-gurdy, whistles, and bodhrans combined
with excellent taste for song make this one worth hearing."
Sing Out! Winter, 2000 Vol 44#2
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Hartwell Horn CD
"Pint and Dale are
musical scholars but un-stuffier scholars you'll not find. Good
friends of Victory for years, the Seattle residents have a nice
string of CDs drawing from various genres of traditional music,
sea chantey, Christmas, and others,that sound thoroughly contemporary.
They deliver an amazingly full, energetic sound without ensemble
instrumentation or massive electrification. This, their latest
offering, is no different; in fact, it may be their best outing
thus far. If those folks down in Ashland [Oregon, home of the
Shakespeare Festival] did the pre-performances songs and dances
outside the Elizabethian theatre with this kind of robust singing
and playing, theatre-goers would not ever get to the play. Most
of the songs here come from the 17th and 18th centuries, and
some musicians make that era sound so prissy when we know people
were dumping their chamber pots in the streets.
But Pint and Dale sing
with lusty throats and wild abandon, yet their harmonizing never
sounds clearer or in better balance. Just listen to the vocal
snap in "Captain Grant" and their smooth tones together
in the a capella "Twas in the Merry Month of May."
Instrumentally, it's Pint's percussive acoustic guitar style
and then Dale's hurdy-gurdy. Is there anyone else who makes that
ancient instrument such an effective center point of the sound?
The whistles and mandolin and occasional bodhran fill things
out just fine. My favorite cut here is "The Widow and the
Devil." Dale sings lead on this amusing sing-along-chorus
narritive of girl-power, and someone unnamed is playing some
nice fiddle as well. A fine CD from two veterans."
By the way -- that 'unnamed' fiddler
is Tania Opland --and she is named in the credits,
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"If you're like me,
a good round of folk music can sweep away troubles and cares.
I've been impressed with the work of William Pint and Felicia
Dale, whose new release, "Hartwell Horn" (Waterbug
Records) contains 15 songs
that should keep you entertained for hours and hours.
The list includes such
winners as "Rufty Tufty," "Twas in the Pleasant
Month of May" and the wonderfully funny, "Down with
the French." Both Pint and Dale possess excellent voices
and their enunciation makes each word of a song crystal clear.
You don't have to be a
folk aficionado to like this album."
G21 The World's Magazine
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