One can't help but expect great things from a band who call themselves Brass Monkey. Combine this with an intriguing album title like Going & Staying, and good folk music is bound to follow. What separates Brass Monkey from the run-of-the-mill traditional English folk band is the addition of horns. Saxophone, trombone, and trumpets sit side by side with mandolins and guitars, livening up pieces like "Put the Road in Order" and "The Doffing Mistress." The odd combination of horns and stringed instruments produces a sound that's difficult to describe. Part classical, part folk, the group occasionally reminds one of a old-fashioned brass band performing in the park on Sunday. Instrumentals like "The Pigeon on the Gate" and "The Primrose Lass" move jauntily along to the accordion's buzz, inciting all but the extremely lazy to get up and dance. Martin Carthy and John Kirkpatrick arrange most of the material and handle the vocals, while trumpeter Howard Evens, trombonist Richard Cheetham, saxophonist Martin Brinsford, and tuba player Roger Williams fill out the horn section. The group's lineup has remained the same for over 20 years, which means they play splendidly together. Fans will be pleased with Going & Staying and pleasantly surprised that it follows so closely on the heels of 1999's Sound & Rumor.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.