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BOOTHILL FOOT-TAPPERS (Buy CDs by this artist)
Get Your Feet Out of My Shoes EP (UK Go! Discs) 1984
Ain't That Far from Boothill (UK Mercury) 1985

In yet another installment of "Musical Styles Traverse the Ocean," these seven rustic English lads and lassies play a charming and catchy version of old-timey folk (banjo, fiddle, guitar, washboard, accordion) on the wonderful title track of their five-song 12-inch. But it doesn't stop there: they also essay a soulful choral arrangement of Curtis Mayfield's "People Get Ready" and a rousing assault on Margaret Thatcher called "True Blues." The only duff item is the rushed, tuneless "Milk Train."

Unfortunately, the album makes a crime of eclecticism: the band dabbles in everything from ska to country-western, connecting emotionally with none of it. Flat, insipid production (mostly by Dick Cuthell) matches the performances' lack of spunk; the net result is a record without depth or charm. Even a new version of "Get Your Feet Out of My Shoes" sounds tedious and contrived. The Boothill Foot-Tappers disbanded at the end of 1985.

[Ira Robbins]