Kathryn Tickell

Strange But True: 25 Years of Friends & Tunes

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It's hard to believe that Kathryn Tickell's career has lasted a quarter of a century, but there's no doubt that in that time she's raised the profile of her beloved Northumbrian pipes to a remarkable degree; after all, what better exposure than being on a Sting album? This album, though, focuses on her own work, whether it's a lovely duet with Corinna Hewitt on "Here's the Tender Coming" or her pairing with Norwegian brass group Brazz Brothers for "Rafferty's Unreel." One thing the collection achieves is to illustrate the range of her work, from her duet with sax player Andy Sheppard to a bizarre live collaboration with the Demagogue Reacts! Along with the pipes, Tickell is an accomplished fiddler, as she shows, and has made forays into singing. But she's also a mentor and teacher, and her students get to strut their stuff on a pair of tracks. Lovingly compiled, this does an excellent job of showing the breadth of Tickell's vast musical range, and the sheer delight she takes in playing.

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