Pig's Eye Landing,
One-eyed Cat
(self-produced, 1998)

The sound of a scratchy LP greets the listener at the onset of this recording, setting the stage for the old-fashioned sounds to come. This is a throw-back to a simpler time, when musicians gathered in the evening in people's homes to jam and have a good time. The feeling of a jam is captured in every sense on this recording, from the energetic sound to the congratulatory noises that come at the end of a couple of the tracks.

The entire CD was recorded one afternoon in a band-member's living room and has the consistency of an afternoon project. The listener will feel invited to participate in the making of this music.

Filled with familiar dance tunes, this fiddle-centric string band's recording would be perfect for those wanting to stage a dance without having a band at their disposal. Reels, polkas, waltzes, and jigs abound, giving dancing feet plenty for a thorough workout. Old stand-bys include "Mason's Apron," "Gravel Walks," "Off to California," "Connor Dunn," and "I'm an Old Cowhand (From the Rio Grande)."

The sounds featured here include three fiddles, guitar, banjo, mandolin, and bass. Additional instruments include bodhran, bones, pennywhistle, trumpet, concertina, vocals, clogging and didjeridu. These additions add a depth to the recording which would leave the music sorely lacking if they had been excluded. The "Pigs" have an easy, laid-back sound combined with a danceable beat, which is very listenable. The arrangements are varied and interesting. The musicianship is obviously of very high caliber, and all of them are in tune. However, despite all of these good points, I found the overall result of this recording to be competent but uninspired.

I don't know what exactly is lacking on this compact disc; but if they find it, the Pigs could be a stand-out group.

[ by Jo Morrison ]