Ashley Hutchings

Twangin' N' A-Traddin'

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This album of late '50s/early-'60s based instrumental dance music, credited to "Ashley Hutchings' Big Beat Combo," is a cousin to the Morris On albums that he cut two decades earlier -- Richard Thompson is present on guitar, shared with Colin Green, while Simon Care plays the melodeon, Clem Cattini (ex-Tornadoes) appears on drums, Martin Allcock handles the keyboards, Simon Nicol strums the acoustic guitar, Geoff Driscoll plays saxes, and Phil Beer plays the fiddle and mandolin. Picture the Morris On group trying to sound like Johnny & the Hurricanes or the Shadows and you get the picture. It's pretty good music, and lots of fun, as they work their way through numbers like "Walk Don't Run," "F.B.I." and "Telstar" -- the latter is performed to a beat resembling "A Summer Place," but it works. No, none of it sounds quite like the real article, and Hutchings' originals ("Riff Raff," in particular, manages to sound folky yet intersects with things like the Shadows' "Apache" and Johnny Kidd & the Pirates' "Shakin' All Over") have a strong folk component. Thompson has good solos on "Twistin' Til Monday Comes Around" and "Horsin' Around" as well.