SHIRE FOLK   Issue 138, September – October 2015

Martin and Me
Providence Music

Before I start, I must declare an interest in this new CD of guitar tunes from Paul Cherrington. I have admired Paul’s playing for a long time, both individually and as an accompanist to Pam Ward. On this solo CD the ‘Martin’ is his trusty M36 which he has used for 25 years. (I have my eye on it but he doesn’t leave it alone for long enough for me to ‘borrow’ it into the boot of my car).

Paul is classically trained and it shows in the precision of his playing on this collection of traditional, ragtime and blues tunes, mostly of which Paul penned or arranged himself. Starting with ‘Victory Rag’ which is apparently the first rag tune Paul learned, through Rev. Gary Davis’s ‘Cincinnati Flow Rag’, a couple of O’Carolan tunes, and to blues and rag tunes composed by Paul, there is a clarity to his playing which as usual leaves me open-mouthed.

‘The Warrior’ is a celebration of HMS Warrior, the ‘ultimate deterrent’ of its day, which could outrun and outgun anything else on the water to such an extent that it never fired a shot in anger. There is a lovely arrangement of ‘In The Bleak Mid-Winter’ and Scott Joplin’s ‘Silver Swan’ has been slowed down to reflect the majesty of a swan gliding in all its glory.

There is not one false note or bad tune on this great CD, for any student of how the acoustic guitar should be played. Wonderful.

Mel Pitts


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