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Hartwell Horn coverReviews: Hartwell Horn

See what these publications have to say about Hartwell Horn

Dirty Linen

Folk Roots, England

Sing Out!

Victory Review Acoustic Music Review Magazine

POWERSSOUND The World’s Magazine

Matt Fink; Internet Music Review




Hartwell Horn

"Seattle-based singers 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.

 "Captain Grant" 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 the Fair."

Tom Nelligan (Waltham, MA)
Dirty Linen #86 Feb./March 2000

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 "Drawing 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. "

--Matt Fink
Internet Music Review

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Hartwell Horn
"After successive 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."

David Kidman
Folk Roots Magazine, England

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Hartwell Horn , (Waterbug 0048).

sing out!"William 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."

MW Kidman
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."

(Bill Compton)
Victory Review
October 1999

By the way -- that 'unnamed' fiddler is Tania Opland --and she is named in the credits, honest!

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Funny Folk

"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."

Bob Powers
G21 The World's Magazine

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