Peter Madsen,
Carnival of Rags
(independent, 2007)

No, it's not about clothes. The rags on offer here are of the musically kind. (In case you are unsure of the rag, think back to the movie The Sting and Scott Joplin's unforgettable "The Entertainer," and you'll get the picture.)

Pete Madsen, a San Francisco-based singer and guitarist, includes that iconic example here along with another Joplin favourite, "Maple Leaf Rag," on his blues and ragtime CD Carnival of Rags. He also has a few tunes of his own, including the title track and some wonderfully titled pieces like "Whippersnapper," "Ashby Strut" and "In the Night, In the Dark." Other rags on the recording come from other composers and include Mario Frosini's "An Operatic Rag" and Big Bill Broonzy's "Shuffle Rag." Also look for "Deep River Blues" by Alton Delmore, "Last Steam Engine" by John Fahey, "Police Dog Blues" by Arthur "Blind" Blake, and more.

Over an album spanning 17 tracks, Madsen proves his versatility and genuine talent on both guitar and vocals. His liner notes indicate a natural showman and seem to promise an unbelievable live show for anyone who might happen upon this particular musical carnival.

review by
Nicky Rossiter

12 June 2010

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