Bluegrass Unlimited - June 2002
Here is a trio of compact discs by members of England's Charlie Boston Band along with several guest musicians. Apparently, several selections from these productions have already received extensive airplay from country disc jockeys throughout Europe. The music of the group can best be described as contemporary folk music with distinctive bluegrass overtones.
"Driftwood" and "Truths & Fantasies" feature a total of 25 selections mostly written by Charlie Boston. "Driftwood" features a trio of musicians (ie Boston, resonator guitarist Ced Thorose and fiddler/mandolinist Laurie Harper) and emits a distinct folk flavor, while "Truths & Fantasies" engages a seven piece group and has a more rounded bluegrass sound. Charlie Boston handles the lead vocals and displays a laid-back delivery. He is also a creative songwriter with such titles as "Black Smoke Risin', "The Bright Lights of Town", "Maybe I'm a Dreamer and "Cabin on the Hillside".
The third member of this CD triad is "Diamond Back", a solo project by resonator guitarist, Ced Thorose, whose instrumental approach is comparable to Junior Barber. The CD's title comes from the trade name of resonator guitars hand-crafted by Thorose. The 14 selections are a blend of instrumentals and vocals including "Only Our Rivers Run Free", "Another Night", Tennessee Fluxedo", "Lakes of Pontchartrain" and "Gold Rush". Also present are Thorose originals including "Owentocker", "N19", May Blossom" and "C Waltz".
From what is presented in these three compact discs, it would well be worth a trip to England to catch Ced Thorose and the Charlie Boston Band at one of their live performances.
Southern Country March 2002
Ced Thorose is a fine player of the resonator guitar and he is joined by some excellent musicians including Charlie Boston. There are some vocals on this album of American bluegrass and Irish folk music, but it is mainly instrumentals and very good they are too. There is music to tap your feet to, music to dream to and waltz around the floor. My picks were Paddys green shamrock shore a waltz sung by Barry Bradley on lead vocals and the up tempo Summerfly sung by Mary ORourke, which will always remind me of Queenstown, Cork, from where the Titanic left on her tragic journey, because it was playing on the sound system in the museum when we visited. I also particularly enjoyed the final track, but the whole album is good listening. The album is dedicated to all those whose lives were cut short by the tragic events which took place in New York and Washington on 11th September, 2001.
Country Music Round-Up February 2002
Ced Thorose is without doubt the UK's best resophonic guitar (dobro) player. In fact I rate him as one of the best in the world and so imagine my pleasure in receiving a "solo" album by this Charlie Boston Band stalwart. And being a longtime member of the Charlie Boston Band means that Ced on "Diamond Back" (Lara) receives nothing but the best of backup from Bob Winquist (fiddle), Chris Comac (mandolin), Tim Purkess (upright bass), and of course Charlie Boston (guitar). Also on hand are Nick Pynn (fiddle, mandolin), bernie Ross (banjo) and vocalists Mary O'Rourke ("Only Our Rivers Run Dry", "Summerfly") and Barry Bradley ("Paddy's Green Shamrock Shore", "Lakes of Pontchrartrain"). Thorose himself puts in a vocal on "Another Night". Excellent though these vocal tracks are, it is the instrumentals that captivate me! Tunes like "Owentocker", "May Blossom" (just Ced's guitar and the piano of Wayne Thorose, and "C Waltz", all Thorose compositions, prove my point about the guy's international standing. And if those tunes didn't, surely Ced's remarkable picking on the Jerry Douglas staple "Tennessee Fluxedo" identify him as one of the world's best.
Country Music and More February 2002 [www.countrymusicandmore.co.uk]
I first heard the magnificent instrumental work of Ced Thorose on Driftwood and Truths & Fantasies two albums released by Charlie Boston and his band on Lara Natural Music (www.laramusic.co.uk). Apart from musicians, I doubt if many country music fans will have heard of Ced but his reputation is held in reverence by fans of folk and bluegrass. Diamond Back is the trade name of the instruments he makes. If you love to sit and listen to this album is a must on your shopping list because it goes beyond the norm, seven of the tracks are his own compositions, he made the instruments, and he can make them talk. Three of the other tracks, two Irish and one American, are shown as traditional. The four remaining are covers of songs by Jack Adkins, Jerry Douglas, Cheryl Wheeler, Bill Monroe. To record this lovely selection of music Ced was joined by Mary O'Rourke (vocal and guitar), Barry Bradley (vocal and guitar), Bob Winquist (fiddle), Chris Comac (mandolin, banjo and guitar), Nick Pynn (fiddle and mandolin), Tim 'Trundle' Purkess (double bass), Charlie Boston (guitar), Wayne Thorose (piano), Bernie Ross (banjo). If that line up does't wet your musical appetite nothing will. Over the years, I have listened in sheer delight and amazement to the picking and playing of some great American folk artists and bluegrass bands; many are legends and stars. After hearing this album I rate this work and music on par with anything heard to date. The bonus is that, because they are London, England-based, I can see them live. The album sleeve states: This album is dedicated to all those of different nationalities and religions whose lives were cut short by the tragic events that took place in new York and Washington on 11th September 2001. When you hear Diamond Back I think you will agree it is a beautiful musical tribute. Forget about categories. Good music is there to be appreciated and this album is full to the brim. My cuts: "Diamond Back", "Another Night", "Tennessee Fluxedo", "Summerfly", "C. Waltz" and "Gold Rush".