Panic at the Café

Nigel Eaton and Andy Cutting

CD only BEJOCD-27


In June 1999 Beautiful Jo released - for the first time on CD - the classic album Panic at the Cafe. Recorded in 1993 and previously available only on cassette the album features the exquisite playing of two celebrated former members of Blowzabella: Nigel Eaton (hurdy-gurdy, cello, keyboards) and Andy Cutting (diatonic accordion, keyboards). Tim Panting (guitar, keyboards) and Ian Luff (cittern)also lend their talents to the wealth of traditional and composed pieces.

Nigel and Andy c 1993

Andy Cutting
Mojo magazine has called Andy an 'accordion god'. A ground-breaking player he came swiftly to prominence with the innovative Blowzabella and went on to pair up with fiddler, guitarist and singer Chris Wood to create an immensely popular duo. Andy's influences include both Québecois traditional English music. He is one of a number of performers who have brought a new sense of pride in their tradition to the English folk audience. The partnership with Chris Wood is still going strong and besides being a one-time member of Fernhill, Andy is a key member of 1651 and has been an integral part of the touring and recording bands of folk divas Kate Rusby and June Tabor.

What the critics have said...
'Nigel Eaton and Andy Cutting, who played together in the marvellous dance band Blowzabella, recorded Panic At the Café as a duo in 1993 when it first appeared on cassette. When Tim Healey, who runs Beautiful Jo Records, heard the album, he was so moved by the beauty of the tunes that he determined to release it on CD. For this we should all be grateful. An hour of accordion and hurdy-gurdy might seem a daunting prospect, and indeed the sound is spare, but the melodic inventiveness of these two players is remarkable. Eaton's plaintive tune 'Boffalora' is entrancing and meanders along before the hurdy-gurdy relinquishes the lead to Cutting's accordion for his more spritely composition 'The Bay Tree'. Gradually one becomes aware of the rich textures of their playing: Cutting's bass harmonies in 'C Polkas' simple but perfect; the percussive as well as melodic aspect of Eaton's hurdy-gurdy in his tune 'Nymento March'. There is an intensity about their performance - in 'L'autre Boud du Monde' and 'Adder's Waltz' for example, that verges on the private, and there is a live, sometimes rough, feeling to the recording. It's as if they have come together to play for each other, rather than to an audience, and the listener is privileged by being in the same room. They also ring the changes, joined by Tim Panting (guitar, keyboards) and Ian Luff (cittern). In 'Plane Silver' these take the lead, and some of the arrangements are for a whole band rather than a duo. 'The Rant (Deluge Mix)' - cicadas, birdsong, a horrible synthesizer and a spectacularly awful drum programme - is a good joke at the expemnse of New Age ambient music. But less is more, and this album is at its best when Eaton and Cutting play as an unadorned duo.'
Julian May, Songlines (Gramophone Publications)

'Fully deserving of its new format and essential to any Eaton and/or Cutting fan.' 

Shire Folk

'Excellent musicians' 
Folk Roots

'Fine self-penned tunes... I love it.' 
Alan Murray, The Living Tradition

'An excellent, wholly instrumental album with both well respected musicians having room in which to showcase their talents to the full, which as most people in the folk world will know, is pretty awesome. A welcome addition to the ever-growing list of successful projects these musicians have been involved with.'
Folk on Tap

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