Pete Cooper and Richard Bolton play English Roots Fiddle & Cello
Both originally from the Midlands and long based in London, Pete (violin, mandolin, vocals) and Richard (cello, guitar, harmony vocals) formed their musical partnership in 1999. They explore songs and dance tunes – jigs, reels, hornpipes, waltzes etc – from English (and other) folk traditions, as well as presenting their own striking new pieces inspired by it. They have recorded three albums on their own Big Chain label, Turning Point (2002), The Savage Hornpipe (2006) and Angel’s Waltz (2014), all available on iTunes.
‘I already knew Pete was a good violinist, but this collaboration deserves to have the pair hoisted into the top ranks of folk duos.’ – Christopher Conder, fRoots live review, 2012
‘The day’s first highlight for me was from Pete Cooper and Richard Bolton whose virtuoso renditions of folk classics on cello and violin were distinctive.’ – David Chambers, BBC website, 2004
‘Lots of great tunes, all in stylish and effective arrangements with complete seamlessness between ’cello and fiddle.’ – Tom Bell-Richards, FiddleOn magazine review of Angels Waltz
Pete plays, teaches, composes, records and writes about traditional fiddling and is director of the London Fiddle School. He is best known for his tutorial book/CD The Complete Irish Fiddle Player (1995), published by Mel Bay, and five collections for Schott Music: Irish Fiddle Solos (2004), English Fiddle Tunes (2006), Eastern European Fiddle Tunes (2007), American Old Time Fiddle Tunes (2009) and New Fiddle Tunes (2013).
Richard started cello at the age of nine while living in Belfast and worked at his classical cello alongside rock and blues guitar during his teens in Birmingham. ‘One of the unsung heroes of the London jazz scene’, he is now also much in demand as a blues, jazz and contemporary classical musician. His CD City Life (Babel Label, 2002) showcased his fine compositions for the Richard Bolton Group. He plays an English early 19th century cello.